Countdown: The Grand Gesture by Karinna T. - 2nd Place, 9th-12th Grade Category

In honor of our 23rd Annual Poetry Contest starting soon (April 1), we wanted to highlight the winners of our 22nd Annual Poetry Contest.  

Please enjoy this second-place poem from our 9th-12th Grade category from Karinna.

On the wrong side of the tracks
I see the world that was raised in hate
The ones who raise and teach their children that we are not the same
Who would've thought a little melanin really matters all that much
I mean come on don’t we all share the same daddy up above

The skin on my back has come to be seen as a weapon
The one thing I was taught was an honor suddenly had to stay hidden
I now must say things properly and drop my slang
As in the eyes of many I look like I don’t know anything
Nonrational is the word my teacher used to describe my people
I quickly got up to ask her why she didn’t see us as equals

Stunned is the only word I would use to describe my teacher’s face in the moment
As she did not think I knew what that word meant
But what I really wanted to tell her was nope try again
Black people are kings and queens
We were not only the slaves the history books always try to make us out to be

It was in that moment a lightbulb turned on
That like Martin Luther King Jr.
I to needed to have a dream
One to better America and make it all it could be

I will call my dream the Grand Gesture
As the Grand Gesture will be the plan to unite centuries
In this plan I devised it first requires us to put differences aside
Look to your neighbor as they are now your equal
Nothing more, nothing less
No, all we see is people
To remind us of the day we united we’ll use the acronym L.I.F.E.
As it stands for Love Is For Everyone and that is the ultimate goal
And the Grand Gesture is the ambition all must vow to uphold

-- Karinna T.