April is National Poetry Month. In celebration of this important craft we ran a Black History Month Poetry Contest in February. Here is one of our favorites:
He walks through the streets with a smile on his face
But inside he’s feeling the weight of the race.
With skin that’s lighter than most, people start to take note Saying he’s not black enough, but he’s still not sure of his scope.
He hears the stories of slavery and pain
Of being oppressed and treated like a stain. He wonders if he’ll ever feel the same
And if he’ll ever truly relate to the black claim.
People say his hair isn’t kinky and rough
And that his eyes aren’t dark enough.
He looks in the mirror, trying to see what they see Wondering if he’ll ever fit in and be free.
He sees his dark-skinned friends, so proud and so bold Fighting for justice and breaking the mold.
He wonders if he’ll ever be seen in the same light
And if he’ll ever feel the same passion, burning bright.
He hears the music, the rhythm, and the soul And feels the beat, it’s like it has a hold.
He dances and sings, feeling the vibe Wishing he could belong and never hide.
But the world seems so divided and so cruel Making him feel like he’s not part of the rule. He struggles to find where he fits in
Hoping he’ll find the place he can begin.
So he searches for answers, deep within his heart Trying to find where he can play his part.
In this world, where color defines
He wants to be black, in every way that is fine.
And as he grows, he learns that being black
Is about the soul, and not the skin on his back. He stands proud, and with his head held high Because being black, is the essence of his pride.
By Ari B.Cerja