How We May Appear

I am the color of my skin

That is rich in melanin

I am the coils of my hair

Which makes other people stare

I am my love for sweets

Because something sugary just can’t be beat

I am my ancestors

Who were stripped from their homeland


I am

My love for all things poetry

I am my love for animals

Who have never bothered me

I am my love for the water

Though stereotypes say I shouldn’t know how to swim

I am my love for music

Not held down by one genre

I am my love for history

Learning about the people who came before me

I am my love for seafood

That I’ve been eating since I was two


I am

The home cooked meals my family makes

Filled with love and laughter

And family traditions

I am the warm summer air of June

Since I was born right in the middle of it

I am my love for art and photography

Though I’ll never be famous for it


I am

Filled with the spirits and knowledge of those who came before me

So I can forge my own path

And become who

I am

Meant to be

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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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