How We May Appear

Black Black

Yes, I am Black

That doesn’t mean I am vulnerable to attack.

I am just like you, a human, red blood, emotion, and a moving figure

Why do you treat me like I am about to pull a trigger?

I did not create sagging,

I did not create gang banging.

So why would you want to assume the worst about me?

To get me jailed, tortured, and then to set me free?


My shadow is scared to walk beside me.

Yes, because my shadow is Black.

Walking to school to get my education, and they want to search my backpack.

It doesn’t matter how long you live, but the way you live.

Having and living life is my greatest gift.


People are scared to accept their ethnicity,

because the color of your skin determines your destiny.

But my destiny is to stay strong.

We are not perfect, we all have done wrong.

We all don’t shine, but when we spot success

We will surely climb.


Getting an education to make a legal “dime” is not for them,

they prefer to see us do crime.

Our first step as males is to have a respectful personality,

pull up our pants and let us all face reality and understand that a man can’t.

If you are passing by and you are Black, think again.

If you want to stop

You will have more fingerprints than you ever had in your paint book.

They will throw you in jail, and treat you like dirt.


This is not about the rhyme, because I would surely do it all the time.

But thank you if I have kept your attention.

Being Black was not a choice or intention.

I am already, there is no correction.

I will keep living up! No way my life will be in a recession!

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How We May Appear

“826 Boston’s anthology would make [Phillis Wheatley] proud, as young writers of a beautiful range of colors and backgrounds lift their pens like swords to take up the task of self-discovery.”           —Amanda Gorman, poet and author of the book’s foreword In How We May Appear—the first book from 826 Boston’s Youth Literary Advisory Board (YLAB)—readers will discover more than 30 poems, essays, and narratives on self-identity from students all across Boston.

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