Poetry & Art

I Stand

Hated since birth

Just because of the way we look,

How can something we can’t control

Be the reason you judge our book…

For so many years

Discrimination we’ve faced,

How can you say we’re one?

When we always lose the race.

The signs have always been there

Since the beginning of time,

They’ve always seen others as good

But bad if you’ve got skin like mine.

Hands up! Don’t move!

They bark orders at us like we don’t understand,

But I’m just as human as you

I’m just a little more tan.

There’s so much more they don’t see

We got up each time we were down,

Even when we were down there

We never arose with a frown.

Each time we leave home

We fear being stopped by a cop,

Please don’t let me die today

Just for being black.

They try to convince us

That because it’s legal it’s right,

But remember so was slavery

And for that, we still have to fight.

With the grip of racism

Groping our necks,

One only can wonder

Which one of us is next.

They turn a blind eye

To our cries and our pleas,

They ignore us when we say

Mama, I can’t breathe.

The names have been so many

How can I single one out?

So, for all my brothers and sisters

No justice, no peace, we shout.

Each time they tried to bury us

It’s a pity they never knew,

That we were the seeds of the master

And so, from the earth, we grew.

Oppressed and beaten

For so many years,

We’ve fought and we’ve rioted

Just to lend us your ears.

It’s cool being black, right?

We’re hip and we’re fun,

But when your blackness is tested

You drop your color and run.

We weren’t born to think this way

It’s instilled over time,

Let’s wipe the slate clean

Starting with our minds.

I wasn’t here when it started

I won’t be here when it ends,

But while I’m here in the middle

With my people, I stand.

by Nicole Townsend

Nicole Townsend is an author from the island of Jamaica.
She has self-published three books on Amazon titled Serenity: Poems for the Mind, Thoughts of Me: Self-Helping Yourself, and most recently Unexpectedly Waiting: Poems. She has had multiple poems published in Harness Magazine and also has been published on Page and Spine. Her poetry has been featured in Indie Blu’s anthology, as well as Waves Zine.
She has been awarded the second-place position for the over eighteen age group in the Caribbean and Americas region in the Common Wealth Youth Council’s Unseen and Unspoken poetry competition for her poem titled Stagnant. Most recently she has been awarded first place in the Tales of Autumn poetry competition and second place two years prior.
She also is a Lupus Warrior as she has been battling the disease for the past sixteen years. She is a well-rounded individual who loves life, loves words, is passionate, and is dedicated.


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