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Celebrating Black History Through Poetry

Contributor
Kristen Wehmeyer
Title/Role
Marketing and Communications Manager
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During Black History Month, LEARN schools are extremely proud to celebrate Black culture and excellence. With 75% of scholars and 70% of staff being Black, LEARN knows the importance of representation and celebrating this month for our school communities. 

“We know that we cannot confine teaching Black history to only one month out of the year,” says Cameron Browne, LEARN 8 Middle School Resident Principal. “Black history is American history. We ensure that Black history is recognized and celebrated in the classroom in the LEARN 8 literature and social studies curriculum. We also make sure that during Black History Month in February, we continue the celebration and shine an even more powerful light on Black history and Black culture.”

Inspired by Amanda Gorman and the poem she recited at the recent Presidential Inauguration, the LEARN network celebrated Black History Month by inviting all scholars to share an original poem about Black History Month. Scholars excitedly wrote about what Black History means to them, famous Black Americans who have inspired them, and what it feels like to be Black in 2021.

Read the seven winning poems below. We are so inspired by our scholars and their heartfelt poems celebrating and recognizing Black history.


 

Black is Strong by Ademide L.

Kindergarten – LEARN Hunter Perkins

Black is strong.

Being Black isn’t wrong.

We don’t have to push to belong.

We sing our song all day long.


 

I am Black History by Zion J.

1st Grade – LEARN South Chicago

I am Black History

I am Rosa Parks

I am Martin Luther King Jr

I am Malcom X

I am Barack Obama

Who Are You?

You Are Black History Too!


 

They Are Precious In His Sight by Marianna C.

2nd Grade – LEARN 9 Waukegan

Red and yellow black and white. 

Martin Luther king’s fight for civil rights.

They are precious in his sight.

It is up to you to do what is right.


Black Freedom by Jahmari M.

3rd Grade – LEARN 7 Elementary School

We all matter 

We are loved

Black freedom is like a blue sky 

With clouds that you are above

We want to fly free 

But first, we have to work together as a team

Not fight  and  use  guns to shoot 

Not break into stores and loot

Or work against each other

 

I love black people like I love my brother

It is not a competition 

It is not  a race between white and black people

To see who won

It is a fight to work together 

to unite black history and black freedom


 

My Brown Shade by Emory D.

4th Grade – LEARN 9 Waukegan

My BROWN shade is why I am treated differently…

My BROWN shade is beautiful…

My BROWN shade is powerful…

My BROWN shade has been abused physically,mentally for too long.

My BROWN shade makes me sing, dance and laugh…

My BROWN shade has shown many people who choose not to like me that I can be a successful entrepreneur no matter how much harder I have to work..

My BROWN shade sparkles like a shooting star…

My BROWN shade cannot and will not be duplicated…

I Love My BROWN shade and you should too!


“Who am I” by Depresce W.

7th Grade – LEARN 9 Waukegan

My brown skin doesn’t define me

As if I am a seed, I will need soil to grow

My roots, my ancestors, are they what may define me?

 

I dig deeper into my roots to see if I can find me

Fredrick Douglas, is that me?

Black movement and one of the first Black slaves to be freed

 

Is that me?

Harriet Tubman who is she?

Her work as Moses, helped thousands of Afrian Americans to be able to see

 

Martin Luther King, what a dream

If his dream wasn’t told, my brothers and I wouldn’t be able to believe 

what we can do to succeed. 

That Black excellence is within me. 

 

Without African Americans, America would be a picture with no frame

Fredrick, Harriet and Martin with many others to name

But without these legends, Black history wouldn’t be the same. 


 

Born into the Skin – Amari M.

8th Grade – LEARN Romano Butler

I was born into this world with this skin, 

As if it were a sin. This very dark shade, 

people think it’s something that the devil made.

To them I’m a monkey, one of wild descent; To 

me I’m nothing but royalty, In which I’d like to present.

 

I was born into this world with this skin, this skin hated by men.

The ones with non-colored skin, treating me as a sin.

I pushed my fear to the side again and again,

to show the white folks that we’ll be wise men.

Nevertheless they push me away, as if I am lower class and nothing but stray.

 

I was born into this world with this skin, I mean I shouldn’t wanna get rid of it, right?

To people without it, I can’t be seen in the night.

My loyalty runs deep even for people full of hate, 

but decades have passed but I can still feel the gate,

The gate of separation,

the gate of isolation,

The gate of desperation,

the gate of dissociation.

 

I was born into this world with this skin, a very passionate blessing.

Like America to it’s fifty states, my skin is a possession. Something 

So strong and genuine, my voice will be heard as it is a sensible sentiment.

Within the span of my life, my skin is a knife to people’s Lives.

It stabs them in the back every time I don’t slack.

I don’t understand why to them I won’t win,

but I can’t help being born in this skin.