Empowering Black Youth

‘History’: A Poem to Inspire Black Youth in America

Ashley Nicole Lacey

by Ashley Nicole Lacey
Feb 20, 2013

Yesterday at 3:35 am a child was born to two young black parents, to the father’s dismay this child was light skinned, with bright blue eyes, and wisps of blonde hair curling around her small innocent face. Could it be that the young woman he loved since he was thirteen had betrayed him? Had she cheated? had she lied? 

after he dropped out of high school to support her, 

after he gave up pursuing his dream of being a performer
Because both their parents threw them out when her belly started swelling,
they were both dark skinned with brown eyes and not one person in their lives was.. so fair
and there are no white relatives in either of their family’s at least, not that they know of
He demands the truth but she swears it was only him
she swears she never felt the touch of another man
she swears it was always him, that he is the father
There must be some kind of mistake
some kind of misunderstanding,
there had to be some kind of explanation.
They don’t understand, they don’t see, they just don’t get it
Its times like these I think history is lost on this generation
See she’s only sixteen and.. he’s one year older
yes she can read but it never really interested her enough to pick up a book that wasn’t required
and even then she was skimming through pages just enough to get her by and
he was no better , in fact he was much worse because all he cared about was writing his next verse
no, not the verse of some elaborate poem or rap with depth, passion, and intelligence
I’m talking about what we hear on the radio where all they talk about is money, women, and violence
It’s times like these when I think history is lost on this generation
It seems they forget what came before segregation
Maybe they forgot about the murder, the beatings and the degradation
Or maybe they didn’t forget
Maybe it’s because they don’t teach black history in the high school class rooms of this fine nation
Maybe history isn’t lost on this generation
Maybe someone should of just told them that somewhere in their family history a black woman was raped
Maybe someone should have told them that
Somewhere in their history the blood of a slave and the blood of a master mixed
Someone should have told them that after that child was sold and left to grow on another plantation
Away from the mother she would never know
And the father who sold her out of shame and disgust
And the blood of the woman that child grew up to be mixed with another
He was her fear, her pain, her life, her hatred, her master
No, history is not lost on this generation
They just need to be taught
They just need to be told the stories of their history
Because though that beautiful baby with the bright blue eyes and the soft blonde hair
Does not look like her father
She is the product of his deepest roots mixing with the deepest roots of her mother
And though it seems some forget how far black people have come
That little girl will grow into a woman, and that woman will not be able to look into the mirror without seeing her history

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