Student Poetry

Dear Black Girls  |  Untitled  |  The Soul of Black Music  |  Stop  |  Who I Am

Dear Black Girls

By Shayla Avery

There was a girl I knew who hated going out in the summertime because she didn’t want to get darker


 

She hated the color of her skin because no one else in the room looked like her


 

That girl now loves her chocolate melanin complexion and how it amazes others when she walks into a room


 

There was a girl I knew who was at the top of her class but never spoke up because she didn’t want to be considered “that” black girl

Now that girl speaks her mind without hesitation 

 

There was a girl I knew who only wore extensions to school because she felt like her natural hair was too ugly, nappy, and “distracting” to be styled

Now that girl embraces all the kinks and curls that form her crown


 

There was a girl I knew who hated her body because it didn’t capture what society thought was beautiful

This girl now has learned that beauty is within, to be beautiful you must look beyond the surface

 

There was a girl I knew who felt like the world was against her, she was suffocating in her own skin

This girl now knows her power

She knows that her skin matters

Her voice matters

SHE matters

She is beautiful inside and out

This girl is me

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Untitled

By Christian Johnson

Silenced to reason yet I have a voice

Rights ignored but did I have a choice

Retaliation becomes terrorism to the eyes of the supreme

Bias becomes justified no man or woman leaves clean

Emotional scars carried by each generation

Leaving a gaping hole in the community led by discrimination 

The minute we seek pride to hope for freedom

They won’t let us forget how they mourn our extinction

As time goes by our patience grows thin

Lives lost “accidentally” over and again

We seek survival every humans basic instinct 

Yet we’re alienated by the mutations born to our genetic link

The dying must stop no matter what the price

At some point we had nothing to lose we’ve gained too much to not put up a fight 

Looking at the bigger picture the so called supreme timeline grows thin

Remember who came first, we won’t make this mistake again

 

The Soul Of Black Music

By Anonymous

Hip-hop

Heavy beats, bright lights

Boombox on the street

Not music, but life.

Soul

A whole heart

Poured out into the mic.

The air thick with smoke,

The music beams light.

Lyrics sweet like honey,

A soft breeze on a summer night.

Fingers dancing on piano keys,

Dream-like. 

Jazz

Smooth sax, swift trumpet

Played to dance.

Sequined dresses, velvet suits,

Swing, tap, prance.

Born from struggle,

The music of chance.

Blues 

The most beautiful sadness.

Sweet notes sung by the strings of a guitar,

The glamor of watching gloom bloom from afar.

Bittersweet, like cinnamon

Are the notes stolen from stars.

 

Stop

By Kamaria Armstead

STOP 

Get one the ground 

I see a gun pointed at my heart 

I’m scared, i lay flat on the ground 

I feel a force on my back that feels like a knee 

And I can’t breath 

I try not to think about that, 

and I keep my breath at steady pace 

The Weight on my back get heavier 

I scream, “I can’t breath!”

But it ignores my plea and I feel his knees go deeper in my spine, I hear people shouting, “get off of her!” 

They yell back at them to walk away 

In my  head I’m hoping they don’t 

If this is how I go out I need people to see 

I want them to feel the same pain I did as they watch the video. I see running and someone pushes the knee off my back. I see another cop but he is black and is yelling at the dude, I’m crying. I hear him yell, “that is a child, what is wrong with you?” They couldn’t breathe.

The police already have a bad rep, and you made it worse. He comes to me and takes the handcuffs off me and stumbles, too scared to talk to anyone. I feel arms around as a shield and I cry harder. Most situations like that you don’t walk away. You're carried away in a bodybag or in critical condition. The arms hold me as I cry and the cop that had me pinned on the ground tries to walk up to me, but the group of people get in front of me. I cry harder not wanting to go through that pain again, I look in the eyes… you put me in all of this pain for no reason, you want me to fear you and I do. I look down at my feet, push the arms off me and say without that gun and badge you are no one.

 

Who I Am

By Olivia Forney

As I wake up in the morning

I do my kinky curly hair

As I look at my paleness

I wonder if my blackness is really there.

The idea of choosing a side makes my

brain sink down rapidly like a submarine.

So I note deep inside

This is who I am meant to be. 

Although I am not dark-skinned, brown, tan, or “black”

My blackness shines through in other ways to make up for that lack.

 

I love who I am

And also what I’m mixed with.

The challenges of my ancestors 

The struggles of my people 

I like to think they left a piece of that within me

I have the skills to constantly demand respect.

To know that my “place” in society can change if I work for it.

Or if I fight for it.

Therefore, I am a fighter.

 

I love who I am

And who I am associated with

A giant black community joined together by struggles and experiences.

At the end of the day, 

My skin tone doesn’t matter. 

I am black and proud

I am black and beautiful

I am black and significant

I am black and important.

Therefore, this is who I am.