"All men are created equal"
in a time where Black people
were not men but animals.
Bred and underfed,
erasable and replaceable.
The burdens on our backs have been lifted just to be back in a system where we're beat.
Beat to the core through jim crow laws.
Thrown behind bars for living.
"You ain’t Black." "I’m more Black than you."
The skin I carry on my back makes me Black.
People look and think "thug," "thief," "liar" when they don't even know me.
The shuffled walk,
The pull of the purse,
The crossing of the street.
Scared of a man scared of himself.
Say their names,
Who's next …
Editor’s note: The writer is a freshman at Half Hollow Hills West High School.