Despite the Struggle, I Rise

The struggle of a black woman

Enforced by her origin, her history

Oppressed by those “superior”

My skin, my hair, my lips, my nose

You say is all ugly

What’s that white man? I’m not good enough for you?

Well master didn’t think so when he was sneaking in my room

Separated from my people

Tore from the place I call home

I can still see it…Africa

Feel Africa, breathe Africa

I can feel the hot sun against my brown face and hear the songs of my people

But then I have to remember that’s the past

Now I’m restricted to sugarcane fields and plantin’ crops for harvest

My freedom is gone, my liberty, my life

My voice is unheard, my emotions disregarded

Treated as an animal, looked at as a barbarian

I’m less than because of the color of my skin, dark like the color of night

Beaten until I can’t even feel the blood running down my back

But I rise

Despite the struggle, I rise

I don’t forget who I am

I don’t know where I am going but I sure know where I came from

I rise for the people of my past, present and future

I rise for the children so they may never have to live the life I live

I rise so little black girls know they’re beautiful

I rise so little black boys can grow up to be men, fathers, and husbands

Not just objects of labor

I rise so one day they’ll know they don’t own me and my people

I rise so one day we can be free

Noni Abdur-Razzaq
Age 15, Grade 10
Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music
Silver Key

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