Black Lives Don’t Matter

by Yasmin Alemayehu

We beg to learn the history that shaped our ancestry, but “enslaved” and “runaways” are the only words that run through our textbooks

We try to find the leaders that shaped our past but the only name to ever come up is Dr. King, with a hint of Rosa Parks and a dash of Malcolm X

the outcome of untaught, unspoken, and the unknown past lurks within the minds of our young ones

As if slavery was our only history
As if segregation was our only past
As if prions and ghettos were our only home

As if we represented nothing more than captured property that the white man brought home

We scream “Black Lives Matters” and watch people ignore, insisting that we are simply using the “race card” and nothing more

Begging to be acknowledged, begging to be seen, begging to be heard

We scream “Black Lives Matters,” as we see Emmett Till, Trevon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, as we see ourselves

Where our history shaped the future
Where our stereotypes from the past created our present
Where our melanin creates a story that follows the idea of danger
Where our melanin is associated with words of “thug” and “drug dealer”
Where our melanin gives justification as to why

Our thoughts
Our voice
Our lives

Don’t matter



Yasmin Alemayehu is a first-generation American Somali. She currently attending GRCC but will be transferring to Grand Valley in the fall to continue pursuing Elementary Education. She writes poetry to be able to examine social problems.

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