Poems for Black History Month


Photo credit: Celina Watkins

Valerie Cronenbold


By Ahnia Leary


Do They Care About Me?

Do they care about me?

The body of my brother once warm grows cold,

Do they care about me?

A scared young life that will never grow old,

Do they care about me?

Remnants of slave chains litter the land of the free.

Rivers of blood flowing from sea to shining sea.

Do they care about me?

Institutionalized systems to hold me back

All because they realize that Black don’t crack

Are they scared of me?

I walk down the street with an underlying fear,

The threat of fatal injustice always lies near,

What have you done to me?

A national anthem I don’t want to have to despise,

The pledge of allegiance, was it built on a foundation of lies?

What has become of me?

After all these years my eyes still fill with tears,

Because “dead unarmed Black man” is all I ever hear.

Is freedom really near?

They make fun of me.

Their very being fills with a rush of adrenaline

After the slightest taste of this powerful melanin,

You should beware of me.

Because when you close your eyes it is me you will see.

Basking in the cultural glory that made you sick with envy.

You underestimated me, but not for long.

You will soon discover that your racist ancestors were wrong.


Dear Black Boy

By Ahnia Leary

You’ve been strong for so long.

We’ve been fighting for decades, urging them to right their wrongs.

I struggle to find words when I pray,

asking God to let you live another day.

Dear Black Boy,

You are beautiful and resilient.

From your melanin to your magic, you are intelligent, never brilliiant.

Never forget the power in your soul.

Never forget through all the pain, you are still whole.

Dear Black Boy,

We want so badly to grow old with you.

To fall off to sleep with our arms holding you.

We live each day, praying that you’ll stay.

Praying that this evil won’t take you away.

Dear Black Boy,

You are blessed and you are scared.

You WILL overcome, no matter the hatred.

And to the one we’ve lost in heaven above,

We will honor you forever, in protest and with love.