Black Girl - A Poem by Kennedi (age 16)

I am a black girl in America.

Where the tone of my skin determines my beauty.

Where the texture of my hair is considered “unprofessional and untamed.”

Where my protective hairstyles are considered “ghetto and unattractive.”

Where my unique name could stop me from getting a job, unlike Sarah, the blue-eyed, average white girl.

Where my culture is picked through and appropriated.

Where I have to work 10 times as hard to earn my spot at a “good” university while Sarah’s family can pay for a way in.

When statistically speaking, it takes the typical black woman 19 months to be paid what the average white man takes home in only 12.

Where I have to be afraid to do things that are normal when white people do them, but are dangerous when I do them.

Where not only I, but the majority of the families in my community, are terrified of encounters with the police.

Where cold-blooded killers get to walk free for brutally murdering a person of color simply because they felt threatened.

Is my skin color a threat to you?

Do you feel uncomfortable with the abundance of melanin present inside of me?

I am more than the skin that I’m in.

Until we get treated equally, we won’t be silent.

All lives can’t matter, until black lives matter.

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