Galaxy Team students have vocalizing protest through poetry these last few weeks.
We began our study by first thinking about where contemporary “protest” poetry occurs these days. The answer? In song. After a bit of exploration, examination, and explication of student-collected lyrics from personal playlists, we exchanged our musicologist hats for lyricist pens and drafted some resistance words of our own addressing topics. The topics that had surfaced most frequently during our review: sexism, poverty, war, and racism.
Currently, our poems are undergoing revision and refinement, moving from draft to craft, but here are two sample student pieces-in-process. Enjoy. And thank you, poets.
My Racist Hell
By Jesse R.
Black men end up face down on the street,
Not even God can help these poor souls rise back up to their feet.
All that’s left now is a chalk outline bleeding away in the rain.
Do you feel that pain?
Black top, Black man, White Chalk
Lazareth, might be the only one who can try to carry them back to the top.
If you do get back safe and sound
better get us postcard from that place down town
666 Nazareth Blvd.
Racism will never completely go away, but it's worth a shot
That shot is still firing hot,
And it's worth it to stop these shots from piercing through innocent lives
The bullet, from a gun, called racism.
It’s no different then carazisom
No matter how many perspectives you look at it
There is still a dead black man, who was equal as all,
Or so we would like to think.
They don't get the opportunity to visit the White shrink.
Equalization is gonna take a little bit more than a calculator or a pen with ink.
Honestly, that's what we are all going to go to hell for.
But, what if this hell we speak of,
Is no different from this world we breath on
Every racist crime I see in the news,
Brings us farther and farther away from the place I chose
It would be a dream to get us closer to limbo,
But this dream, isn't working for us though,
It's going to take all of us hand and hand to fight
This little cancer that is shining so damn bright
So how about now we stop dreaming, and make a sound.
Make that sound so loud that God can’t ignore us now.
POP, POP, POP
From Hate Buds Words
By Cara V.
Why do people have to hurt others? Why
can’t we all stand united? It
doesn’t matter what color
your skin is. Color doesn’t define
Someone. Fear does.
There is no excuse
for inhumane treatment, verbally
or physically, of another
race. Hurting someone
will never make you feel better.
It makes you violent.
Words slam into skin of all color
and the marks they leave aren’t scars.
Open wounds that can only
be treated with kindness. Kindness
and opportunity for all.
There is no logic
in hating someone because
they look different,
Looking at the skeletons of
every human being on this earth,
you wouldn’t be able to tell
yours apart from any of the others.
The only skeletons that are different
are the ones who were lynched.
What makes people think
that another is superior? A white
person is not better or worse
than a black person. You,
are your personality. That’s what
people will remember.
Racism and hatred stem
from jealousy, from competition
from petty argument. And
most of all, change.
And from there, it buds.
People learn it. Parents
teach their children racism.
Is that the education that should
be given to our future?
Teamwork makes the dream work,
but our dream isn’t worth fighting
for if half the team is missing.
Slavery went on for years and years,
it was a fact of life.
The slaves brought into
America, didn’t have what we have.
The opportunity to work hard, earn
esteem. The chances we take
for granted. They didn’t receive
The American Dream.
I can’t even imagine being taken
out of my home, out to live and work
for someone else in poverty.
But that is what Americans did.
The slave masters didn’t
Stop. Think. Why
did they hate? In our
own constitution it says
that a black man is ⅗
of a white man!
That is not liberty or justice for all.