20 Young Writers Of Color Share Their Favorite Poems

Colour 2

Article originally published in  The Huffington Post by Priscilla Frank Arts Writer.

“The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind.”

In December, The New York Times invited noted writers, actors and public figures to share their favorite poems, reaching out to people like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elena Ferrante Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham and Junot Díaz, among others.

After reading the published list, Tabia Alexine, a Los Angeles-based curator and creative, was disappointed. “It was a compelling group, but not as diverse and intersectionally colorful as I’d hoped,” she explained to The Huffington Post. Soon after, Alexine embarked on a project of her own, reaching out to young writers of color she admired to bring the original list the multiplicity both readers and writers deserve.

Alexine collected the perspectives of 20 new voices, each explaining the power of a single poem. “The responses reflect a spectrum of experience among the writers,” she explained. “But I did notice that several poems discussed discovery, social justice, and resistance through existence and survival.”

Looking forward, Alexine hopes future articles in outlets like The New York Times will represent a wider range of backgrounds and perspectives. And that the cultural landscape at large will follow suit. “I hope to see poetry and art by talented persons of color more widely distributed via TV, film, in commercials, at events, galleries, and conferences,” she continued. “I love seeing books like The Breakbeat Poets sold at major retailer, Barnes & Noble. I also believe performance poets and writers deserve increased honorariums for their work. I want to be a catalyst, pushing all of those things forward.”

Right in time for Black History Month, Alexine’s diversified anthology speaks to the importance of poetry to voices too often marginalized or silenced. “It can be such a powerful platform for truth-telling, disruption, affirmation, and empathy,” she said. “The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind. These 20 individuals are unapologetically taking up space and making noise as writers, activists, performers, educators, literary editors, students, and so much more.”

Learn about their favorite poems, and the stories behind them: 

http://goo.gl/jZQGlp

Dandara: A Great Black Woman That Made History

Dedra 2

Dandara, the great fighter.

It’s our responsibility to dig out great stories of black history. Many are racists because of your colour black, but during the First and Second World Wars, White soldiers painted their faces black to avoid detection by enemies. Many blacks survived because enemies hardly had a glimpse at them. This is short story of one of the greatest black women fighters in black history.

Dandara was an Afro-Brazilian Woman, Warrior who lived in the 1600s. She was co-founder of Palmares, a run-away slave community (quilombo) that thrived for almost a century.

Bravely she fought alongside Zumbi and others defending the freedom of her people and her community. Palmares was eventually overthrown by Dutch and Portuguese colonizers, but rather than return to slavery, Dandara took her own life as an act of resistance.

Bullying: How Can We Protect Our Children From This Aggressive Behaviour?

 

Bullying 1Every child deserves to be happy at home and at school, but many times that happiness they are looking for eludes them. At school and on play grounds, it’s very common for a child to experience bullying from other boys, because he or she looks different.

Physical bullying, taunts and calling one funny names happen every day at school and after school, without the knowledge of teachers or parents. The reason is many children wouldn’t like to speak out to the authorities or parents, because they are scared to talk about it. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, about 160,000 students in the United States, daily refuse to go to school because of bullying.

A married woman with six children, once told me that in her teens at school, she nearly committed suicide. According to her, she was bullied everyday because of her ginger-coloured hair and many called her ugly girl, because she had freckles on her face. Her story was emotional and sad, as she claimed her own brother was part of her misery. He called her ugly too. Despite her ordeal, she summoned up courage to study psychology at the university. That’s one of the best ways to ignore bullying, but how many children have the strength to stand this psychological torture?

On his way to school, a mother kissed her son, without knowing that’s her last kiss to the son, who is being bullied every day at school without her knowledge, because her child never told her. When the child reached a bridge over a busy street, he jumped to his death. Every newspaper in Belgium published this sad story for the government to do something about it. Today the fight against bully is very active in the country.

Children who intimidate or bully other children enjoy doing that. They never stop until the victim has courage to tell his or her parents or put up resistance. It is very important for parents to ask children often, if they are experiencing problems at school. Talking to your child about school is one of the quickest ways to determine if your child is hiding anything from you, for the parents to take necessary actions.

bullying 2