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Illustration by Cayla Lamar

VOX Teen Poetry: “I Am Black”

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I Am Black
Afrikan American, and nothing will change that
Kinky coils in my hair, black and sometimes nappy
Brown skin, chocolate charm, dark and happy
My name is Zakai
That starts with a Z
I chiropractic crack all those stereotypes of me
This ebony ingenuity was never new ya see
Why, this is the culmination of ancestors
Cultivated and shea buttered down
Rooted, an immovable tree
This is modern day Kunta Kinte
Dancing, shackles free
I am a kingly pupil
With ink and parchment
Brown eyes, melanin, subtle sin
Sound so smooth you wanna hear it again
This that Wakanda forever,
Power to the people,
Peace and love resonance
The Renaissance reborn
That pan-afrikan, blood, land and people, never torn
This that Huey Newton, Bobby Seale
Black panther, right fist
Freedom or die, take the risk
Southern heat, mosquito bites on yo wrist poem
That fried chicken and Kool-aid but don’t forget your greens song
That back in the house before the streetlights come on
I’m yo afro and cantu oil combination
Yo bantu knots oiled with sun rich purification
With war and peace all in my blood circulation
Come in with a suit and tie, everyone’s fascination
Never wrote nonsense, but always cynical with the syllables,
I’m that stay after school and read a book with the principal
After all is said and done I’m still a star
Even when I burn out You’ll still see my light from afar
Do I need to remind you?
I’ll do it 10 times at that
Well maybe not 10, but once again
I am Black!

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