Favour Akingbemi

Age: 16, Location: Hawthorne, CA

Grievances of Angry Black Folks

Favour Akingbemi

We are sick and we are tired

Of living in this society

Where our skin is spit upon

And shred like paper


Where the men with the guns

Are free to tear a hole through our innocent fragile skin

And equivocate to justify their “acts of self-defense”

But we can’t complain Our uncivilized tongue is much too provocative to be heard

Our skin is much too vexatious

And ghetto

So our words mean nothing

The pale-skinned people

All so gregarious

But only to the pale-skinned people

Our brown-skinned race is much too threatening

So they push us together

Make us threats to each other

And those who refuse

To use prejudice against my kind

Are abhorred, marked as egregious

The others continue to tear at our skin

To discriminate

And to hate

And to shut us up

But we will not be quiet

We will not allow any more torture

If your avocation

Is to promote the segregation

Of our divided nation

Then be ready to fail

It is our vocation to bring this country integration

And to bring you provocation

For the deprecation Of our skin

Call us vociferous

But your discrimination

Has commenced the aggregation

Of our massive congregation

Of angry black folks

And we will not succumb to relaxation

Until you listen to us

And until we are heard

1. Introduce yourself!

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States at age 6. I attend a school in South Central Los Angeles and I’m a junior there. I enjoy playing soccer, reading, writing, and watching Criminal Minds. I am a Leo!

2. How have you identified yourself as a BIPOC individual through your creative work?

The poetry I write is usually from a first person point of view and I use my identity as a Black person to express emotions that are felt by many BIPOC as a result of the way we are treated in this country.

3. How has your creative work allowed you to express yourself?

My creative work has allowed me to express awareness about certain issues because I’ve written about struggles that Black people face and struggles that women face and those issues (sexism, racism, misogynoir) matter to me a lot, especially as a young Black woman. I’ve used my poetry to express anger and pain but also to uplift these oppressed groups.

4. What is your stance on BIPOC representation in the media?

I feel that representation of BIPOC in media has a long way to go to be considered accurate. I feel that the way these groups are represented is based mainly on Euro-centric views of the way BIPOC act, talk, live, etc. and media needs to abstain from enforcing harmful beliefs and stereotypes about BIPOC.

5. How has your culture influenced your work and who you are today?

My culture as a Nigerian has influenced my work because it has helped me to know firsthand how it feels to be harmed by the issues I write about. I’m also more skeptical of cultural practices around the world and more able to recognize how they might be enforcing racist, sexist, classist, or other harmful ideologies.

6. What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, reading, eating, and watching TED Talks or Netflix (depending on what kind of day it is).