by Te’Aunee Turner
We are BLACK, We are BROWN and we are even more than what they make us seem.
They make us seem weak, worthless, and they use us as scapegoats.
But the fact is
We are preachers, teachers, singers, fighters, and leaders.
Don’t you try to put US down because they already tried,
They insulted us like HARRIET TUBMAN
They abused us like EMMETT TILL
They disenfranchised us like MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
THEY EVEN TRIED TO MAKE US SLAVES,
BUT WE BROKE THEM DAMN CHAINS.
WE are BLACK
I am BLACK
I AM BLACK
I am BRAVE, COURAGEOUS, and DETERMINED
And let it be known,
I ain’t no BURDEN.
So do not UNDERESTIMATE our potential,
My BLACK POTENTIAL.
Because Harriet Tubman helped free her people from chains,
So Rosa could sit,
So Martin could march,
And finally, so Obama could lead.
I can be the next Michelle
I can be the next Harriet
I can be the next Maya Angelou,
This is because of African-American leaders who fought for our Rights.
Now, I fight for my Rights.
About the author: Te’Aunee Turner is a 7th grade student in Los Angeles whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with over this last school-year.
In Te’Aunee’s own words, she hopes her poem shows others “[that] being equal is not treating someone with an advantage because they’re in a higher class, or taking advantages from others because they don’t have money. This is how our great African American leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nipsey Hussle got killed. The whole point of this is for people to see others for who they really are so we can treat each other more equally.”
Te’Aunee’s sister, Dasia, and Language Arts teacher, Ms. Morales, also provided support for this poem.