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Students write poetry dedicated to Black History

Local elementary through high school students from InsideOut write moving poems

InsideOut and Local 4 Celebrate Young Voices

In order to celebrate the voices of young local students during Black History Month, Local 4 is working with InsideOut Literary Arts, an organization that helps Detroit’s youth build their literary and academic skills through creative writing.

Below you can read some of the poems written by these local students of various ages in honor of Black History.

A Dream Undreamed

By Luis (InsideOut Elementary Student)

I think a dream undreamed

turns into a house without a roof

Or maybe a movie without characters

Sometimes a dream undreamed

turns into a pencil without its led

Or maybe it’s a bunk bed without a ladder

Black Lives Matter

By Amir (InsideOut High School Student)

I shouldn’t have to be scared

to walk outside because of my race.

I shouldn’t have to wonder

if I’m going to make it home safe.

I shouldn’t have to be scared

to go to the store and look you in your face.

You clutch your purse as I’m walking by.

As a friendly gesture,

I just wanted to say “Hi!”

I can’t walk around without you staring.

I always get discriminated

from what I’m wearing.

Everybody on this earth is human.

Everybody on this earth is the same.

When applying for a job,

I shouldn’t have to change my name.

Blinding Lights

By Mariah (InsideOut High School Student)

I can’t see anything.

Just smoke and rubber bullets,

Freshly ejected from their chambers

Is this what the future looks like?

Bloody and rough,

Stretched and tired?

The clatters of hooves filling the streets.

from Only Us

A group poem (InsideOut Middle School Students)

My voice is an army

Our truth can bring the most powerful man to his knees

Only me, only I, only us

Let us not fall, but keep standing tall

Let us not stay quiet, but speak as freely and loudly as we want

Let’s stay together

Let us never be defeated

Let us be joined as one

Holding hands like a chain of unity

Only me,

Only I,

Only us

Your truth can become a quote

Our truth can become a nation

Only me, only I, only us


About InsideOut

Our Mission: to inspire students to think broadly, create bravely, and share their voices with the wider world.

Since 1995, InsideOut Literary Arts has helped over 65,000 of Detroit’s youth build their literary and academic skills through creative writing.

With initial seed funding from Bob Shaye and the Four Friends Foundation, InsideOut was founded in 1995 by former Detroit Public School teacher Dr. Terry Blackhawk. The name InsideOut was chosen by Dr. Blackhawk’s students.

As Detroit’s largest and oldest literary non-profit, InsideOut now serves more than 100 classrooms and community sites annually. Our professional writers continue to help students experiment with words and learn that each unique voice matters – that there is power in “bringing the inside out.”

Learn more about InsideOut here.