Student Writing


Untitled by Jamaica Aytch

1 through 43 hung my ancestors from trees
Then came 44 that’s the change that we need
Brothers in the White House?
Brother that’s the right house
But then came 45 how we supposed to succeed?
See my uncle got locked up just for selling some weed
Now the uncle down the street just be handing out trees
Amerik-k-k’s got me hopeless but I’m done on my knees
I’m bout to scream and then shout
I’m bout to show the Oval Office what the brown is about
And I don’t do this for clout
I’m on a special kind of mission
So either change up your clique
Or face the fist of revolution
Cuz my angers been mustered
It’s your life that you risking
After all the black bodies I seen on television
After all the brothers, homies, sisters that’s came up missing
You can bet I’m fucking angry
Man I’m fucking enraged
History don’t even save me cuz you pissed on the page
See you caged and enslaved us
Demonized and deranged us
Took away our gods and said only Jesus could save us
For 40 acres and a mule?
Man that just ain’t cool
Then you gotta ask the question
Why we drop out of school?
Why we ride with a tool?
Cuz the system’s bet against me
The brown boy in the back seat
Cuz the way I talk is too street too black
Man I swear to god this country’s just too whack
But hold on let me backtrack
I’m tired of being discreet
After all you torn from us you gave us one lousy street
And I drive by MLK
Almost every damn day
Let me tell you what I hear and you can tell if this is fair
Crack rocks
Another street fight
Boys in red and blue ready to take another black life
This a drowning society I hope these words embody for you
The land of the free
The America
I know to be true


Me, In America by Theresa Hardy

They say I should be proud to be American,
I say no, no, no, no
I’m not proud to be American.
I’m proud to be a Black woman who made it in America.

See, I fell victim to the statistics,
But I rose above their predictions.
Not yet where I want to be,
but I won’t let nothin’ stop me.
They tell me everyday this society ain’t made for me
so, I let my tenacity,
be the reflection of my ancestors who paved the way for me,
you can call it destiny.

See, I have a vision to pave the way for my seeds
and not just the ones that I birth,
but the ones that are connected to me here now on earth.

I know they watchin’ me, I know they banking on me to succeed.
I can’t let ‘em down,
I have to show ‘em how a Black Queen prospers,
I can’t lose the crown.

Dear America,
I keep hearing the sounds,
the sounds of my beautiful Black people getting slapped down,
slapped down by ya system.
See, we have to continue to make strides,
build a foundation so our young people to do more than just survive.
100 years after slavery,
don’t you think it is about time.

About time to break free from their chains,
not the ones wrapped around our hands and our feet,
the ones around our brains.

Dear America,
Listen to what I proclaim,
your justice is not my justice,
your people are not my people,
your culture is not my culture,
yet you want me to conform,
but no America,
no more,
this is where I REFORM.


We Are by Watani Marks-McThomas, Garfield class of 1995

“Have you ever heard the sayings,
she’s as strong as an ox hard as a rock!
They are too dominating,
aggressive and bossy.
All black women have bad attitudes, and I do mean all.
They can build a house,
have thirty kids,
clean a mansion and cook a good dinner of:
Fried chicken,
and don’t forget the Kool-Aid…
all in one hour!
She ain’t good for nuthin but havin Bay-Bay kids and stayin on welfare.
All the black woman is, is the white man’s whore and she wonders why her man runs to the white woman.
A nuclear missile couldn’t knock her down.
After the explosion she jus get back up,
wipe the dust off her shoes and keep on steppin!
“This is about the lives of African women and our struggle of dispelling those ridiculous myths that have contaminated our image and turned us into everything everyone else wants us to be instead of who and what we really are.
We are, we are, we are.

“We are fed up with this B,S.!
We ain’t your ho’s, hoochies, hoodrats, tricks, mammies, sapphires, pikaninnies, and any other degrading name that has been used to describe us.

“And we ain’t jus yo mama’s, aunties, sistuhs, wives, nieces, etc, etc, etc.
We ain’t, we ain’t, we ain’t!
We are individuals with voices to be heard.
We are human beings with emotion and feelings,
with thoughts and ideas.
We experience triumphs and tragedies,
as well as ambitions hopes and prayers.
We are, we are, we are!

“The time has come for us to define ourselves and by ourselves.
The power of definition is so dynamic that it cannot be expressed in just one word,
one sentence, one phrase, one anything.
We cannot and will not it into society’s small perfect boxes that have been set aside for us to climb right on in

“We cry as well as rejoice
We Sing and dance as well as mourn and grieve.
We ain’t just some face in Ebony, Essence or Jet who you stare at in awe of our beauty or turn away from what you may see as hideous.
There is so much more to us than that.
So much, much more.
We are women,
African Women.
We are, we are, we are!”


Revolutionary by Jerrell Davis

Right fist in the sky – Revolutionary
Black Lives, Black Pride – Revolutionary
Love Yourself for Yourself – Revolutionary
Your worth aint your wealth – Revolutionary

I think I’m John Carlos, I think I’m Malcolm X
Reppin on the podium, wonder if I’m next
Cuz I’m goin for the crown or I’m going deaf
If I couldn’t do it right then I’m going left
I’m never trippin on this road less paved
pushin past the path comin out unscathed
But everybody got some scars, sum it up to the game
The trauma gave me some bars, I’m getting rid of the chains, huh

I think I’m 2pac with a Pops and a college degree
I think I’m Cassius graduating to Muhammed Ali
If you aint listenin you bouta be a Liston then
Say my name, say my name “Rell Be Free”
Black Lives, Black Pride – that’s Revolutionary
White cops conditioned to think that niggas scary
And Black folx conditioned to think that cops are hate
We got the relevant evidence on the news at 8

I think I’m Kobe Bryant, I’m a volume shooter
I’m a King with a Dream, think I’m Martin Luther
Check the thesis, this the cleanest exegesis
seekin Peace despite the beef until I’m standing next to Jesus
Radical Love, yeah, that’s Revolutionary
I get the spirit from inside this fragile heart in my chest
Drippin blood, sweat and tears til there aint nothin left
That’s Revolutionary