I sit in the back of the class and watch history repeat itself,


I observe my anglo-saxon counterparts and their air of superiority,

“Oh, poor little black girl how’d you make it here?”

The question written across their brows

as they try to rationalize my presence in their territory.

Advanced placement

Innately assuming authority,

they feel the need to

correct me if I’m wrong,

give me instructions to find answers,

tips to follow along.

Outraged if my brilliance erupts out of its container,

I try to control it

for I am familiar with the debt of being black and bright.

Sending me to the Antebellum South,

where limbs were chopped off if a slave could read

yet still,

by the starry moonlight

in the bloodstained gravel,

the ancestors of literary greats learned the alphabet.

The anger fills their eyes as I raise my hand to the stars

and drop heavenly insight on their unsuspecting minds.

They laugh

And make light of the tragedy of my people.

No use in my rebuttal,

My response futile,

For they think like Masa’

Say what they want

And brush it off by saying,

“But I have black friends so...”

Trust and believe we are not your friends.

There is an established divide.

We do not cross that Mason- Dixon.

In our blackness we are free

But, they wish to enslave, limit, and quell all that we are.

I sit in the back of the class and watch history repeat itself

Urging my blackness to radiate from my seat

And the Negro spirituals to pour out of my soul.

My heritage taking claim,

Never truly silenced


Quick to condescend

Always questioning my answers,

Believing that nothing ever so clever could come from the dark.

Their judgemental gazes attempt to burn through my melanin.

Never wanting my intelligence to match theirs


They desire to put me on display as they revel at “how

I’m not like the rest.”

I’m the black faced minstrel

Who is supposed to jive and wave my hands,

supposed to laugh at their



Degrading, jokes.

I am supposed to be happy to have been included,

Never invited,

But since I’m here they mine as well tolerate me.

Waiting at bay for the moment that my barbaric nature reveals itself

for when my known aggression shows,

Because though I am not like the others,

I am sure as hell not like them.

They wait for my slang to emit

Not realizing that ebonics is a language

And Swahili ain’t clicks.

I sit

In the back of the class and watch history repeat itself,

Internally screaming.

No, I don’t eat watermelon.

No, my mother didn’t have me young.

Yes, we eat fried chicken.

No, I’ve never lived in the projects.

No, I can’t teach you how to cornrow.

Yes, we can dance.

And no, I can’t show you.

All my siblings share the same parents

And yes, they are married.

I dare not speak of the separation because

I will not be the proof of their misconceptions.


They bring up politics

And these privileged middle-class White Americans

Have the nerve to speak of struggle.

They speak of  how taxes have taken their

Family vacations, dinners out, and have prolonged the update of their technology.

They disrespect the president.

The leader of the free world regarded as nothing more than

A monkey,

A puppet,

An imbecile,

A blemish on the face of the American dream.

In the same hand they dispel the possibility of racism because,

He made it there didn’t he,

He changed history didn’t he,

He’s half white so he’s half right,

but the black is still there and so are the chains.

Demands for his birth certificate

Riddled with the insistent desire to prove he is not a citizen

Mimic the scientific experiments that said we were subhuman.

I sit in the back of the class and watch history repeat itself,

I speak

I speak in honor of those who were silenced

I speak for

Emmett Till and

Addie Mae Collins,

Cynthia Wesley,

Carole Robertson,

Denise McNair

I speak for

Trayvon Martin,

Oscar Grant,

Sean Bells, and

Abner Louima.

I speak in appreciation of those who dared to come before me.

I speak because of

The paths dared to be forged by Harriet Tubman,

Words written by Phyllis Wheatley,

Truth spoken by Sojourner,

The action demanded by Malcolm, and

The peace encouraged by Martin,

The justice served by Thurgood Marshall,

The heights reached by Mae Jemison and Guy Bluford,

The hearts healed by Ben Carson,

The problems solved by Benjamin Banneker,

The words sung by Fitzgerald,

And written by Morrison,

The hope given by Obama.

I sit in the back of the class and decided history shan’t repeat itself,

Not in this manner.

I gather up answers from my ancestors

And carry history because

I am the future.



so amazing so good 

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