I Can't Breathe

I.

I am intelligent.
I strive for greatness.
I am not perfect but lord knows I try.
I refuse to be a statistic.
I will not let stereotypes and discrimination dictate who I am.
I push myself to a bigger and brighter future.
But I am a victim.
I am a target.
I am the forgotten.
I am black.
Can't.
Can't just be me.
Can't walk down the block without dirty looks and side eyes.
Can't stand out because too much attention brings fear.
Can't be myself because that's not what society wants.
Can't be successful because there's always someone pushing me down.
Can't help but push back.
Can't help but resist the temptation. 
Can't help that I like competition.
Can't let them break me down.
Can't give up.
Breathe.
Breathe in.
The hate.
The negativity.
The emptiness.
Breathe out.
The greatness that we are and will always be.
Hope for those that don't know it yet.
Strength for those taking chances and standing up.
Love for our brothers and sisters.
Love for our enemies.
Breathe in and breathe out.
For those who have suffered.
For those who can't.
For those whose last words echo in our heads.
I can't breathe.
I Can't Breathe.
Poetry Slam: 

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