Ears ringing, palms sweating,
The lullaby of gunshots reminds our children it's night.
I am the only white pearl for miles,
Shining simultaneously with my fellow onyx's and Melanites.
We are 92% African American; 40% of us live in poverty.
Most of my classmates can reminisce
on the time where their ancestors were once property.
In a community where we taught our sons to
dodge bullets, steal shoes, and get in fights
before we ever even considered to teach them to
discern books, seek salvation, or get it right.
Our daughters grow up without fathers.
Our siblings grow up without dreams.
Our community expects nothing of us,
but that may just be how it seems.
You may say I'm not one of them,
So it doesn't concern me.
But Sunnyside is my home,
and we take care of family.
There, my identity was created.
I am one who can not be defined.
I can't be stuck within the confines
of a restricting box that draws lines
around who I am, can, or will be.
I set my own goals;
I exceed others expectations.
And I will never surrender
to anyone else’s limitations.