Age: 16, Location: Hawthorne, CA
Grievances of Angry Black Folks
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
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
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).