Writing Submissions

Showcasing the talent of Garfield students.


Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by student submissions do not necessarily reflect the opinions or viewpoints of The Garfield Messenger.

African (American)
Poem by Milena S. Haile, ‘019

Please check one box
Asian American
Pacific Islander
Black/African American
I am one but not the other
One came by choice
One came by force
One came to search for opportunities and a better life
The other was forced on a ship, starved and ripped of their humanity.
There is a history on this land that I stumbled upon
It’s not mine
though I understand
I learn about segregation, Jim Crow laws and the Atlantic Slave Trade in history books
While others’ ancestors experienced these evils
Who am I to claim a history that is not mine?
To get frustrated explaining institutionalized racism in a country I just entered
Who am I to teach while I’m learning?
Who am I to preach when I don’t fully understand?
Who am I to claim a history that is not mine?
On the other hand
I might not have experienced this exact history
But I have faced similar obstacles
My people were colonized and raped of their independence.
I understand
So when I protest I protest in solidarity
When I defy and confront I stand up for the injustice all of us face
I don’t just fight against one inequality
I fight against all of them
We might not all have come at the same time
And not have the same culture or traditions
And not have the same past
But we certainly have the same future
This country does not differentiate between us
So why should we
Here we are all Black
So I fight in harmony
Whether you’re African
Or African American
We’re Unity
We’re Excellence.


Poem by Miata S., ‘018

for those whose stories are not heard or yet told
i apologize if i have excluded
any of your experiences in the following words
for those who have had enough of the sexualized dress codes
the wage gap and the friend zone
for those whose families keep them behind closed doors
removed from the world and all it holds
while the gate to freedom is open to their brothers
for those who have no access to an education
due to their role of being a housewife and mother
for those who refuse to give out their number
to then be responded with the bullets of a gun or stabs of a knife
for those whose homes are in neighborhoods
where a step outside may cost them their life
for those who are sold for countless nights
broke of money and love
for those who are imprisoned by forced marriages
and silenced tongues
for those who live under the same roof as their abuser
bruised, bloody, and numb
for those whose bodies do not fit the societal standard
the unrealistic ideal image that disregards their health
for those whose body parts defined who they are
before they were able to decide for themselves
for those who are expected to be attracted to guys
but are seen as a “challenge” when they decline
for those whose beautiful skin is darker than mine
but degraded by men of the same race as them
in comparison to the features of a white american or east asian woman
for those who raise their children without a partner
working multiple jobs to clothe and feed and meet rent
while they are thought to be single because they are incompetent
for those who have mental illnesses or are differently-abled
have assumptions made based on a part of their identity that is uncontrollable
to reinforce the feminine traits of being delicate and dependent
for those who never see the end to street harassment or its effects
or are not asked for their consent before it is pushed inside of them
or when they are touched underneath their clothes in a basement
for those whose male acquaintances realize their privilege
but don’t speak up against toxic masculinity or misogynism
for those whose father hurts them first
before another guy gets the chance to
for those who conquer it all or just a few
for those who want to leave but continue to stay
for those who thrive or barely break through
for those who fight back or have no choice but to obey
no one is stronger and more capable than you
no one should have more of a say
on how you are portrayed
at least without your permission
this movement may be far from done
but your power goes a long way
fuck the gender stereotypes, labels, and rules
you do not need them
to end discrimination
happy international women’s day