Friday, January 22, 2010

Poetry love

Prior to this year I was the Poetry Club advisor at a local high school. As my role at work changed I had to give that up this year, but one of the kiddies read a poem to me that I have to share. She gave me permission to post it here.

dedicated to the Asian lady who owns the corner shop by where I live.

I used to think my brain didn’t function right. Was I imagining things or was I really listening to all of these stereotypes? Why is it that every time I step into your Asian hair products store I need a tour guide? Did your really need to fallow me everywhere? Your eyes were glued to me like I was a celebrity. Every step I took you took with me. Every word I spoke you listened closely, while of course still keeping your eyes on me and observing me like I was a specie from another planet. DAMN IT! Maybe I should just walk around with my hands up so that we could both feel a little bit more comfortable, you would know where I was and finally understand that just because I was young and black didn’t mean I was going to steal anything. In fact why would I waste all of this potential that I have to steal your stupid container of bee’s wax? Perhaps, I would be more happy to have you keep your eyes off me, but most importantly I would love for you to stop thinking so damn ignorantly. I understand that people steal things sometimes but don’t make any generalization about me because I’m not like everybody. Some believe that racism in America has ended because we have a black president, for those of you who believe that please think again. I’m not here to give you a lecture about blacks in America because they already have that show on CNN. What I’m trying to prove to you individuals is that black is not a trend. It’s not easy doing something as simple as walking in to a store without getting generalized, rationalized, and categorized. People please understand that I am not here to raise my hand and fight the power because that has already been done. I’m here to just speak on my opinions about racism, stereotypes and maybe I’m going a bit to fast for you and none of this makes sense just because I used to think that my brain didn’t function right.

by S. L.

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