Anaiyah Saulter is a senior at Dr. King Charter School who wrote this poem during her junior year. Here is what she said about what inspired her:

“I have my own saying, ‘when boredom strikes, I write.’ I decided to name my writing after my saying. #WBSIW is a movement to help kids embrace their talents. My inspiration is rooted in pain and my family’s history. You see, I am blessed to say that I am the 5th living generation and that my great-great-grandmother is still alive at 97 years old. I have a family full of women, which isn't easy but doable. My family’s wisdom, strength, and courage motivate me to grow and strive further. Aside from my family’s past, I was born to be phenomenal. The most significant experience and the most important thing to impact me was the death of my aunt Joann. No matter what she went through in life, she always wore a smile. Her positive attitude inspires me because I know what she would expect of me.”

This poem was a finalist in the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation’s arts competition 18 in ’18. The competition celebrated the tricentennial of New Orleans by showcasing the creative talent of New Orleans high school students and their special connection to the spirit and culture of New Orleans.

 

Everybody’s getting put down
It’s guns and violence now
Like when will this madness end? Can’t we all get along and walk hand in hand?
This community needs unity.
Let’s be one and strive for a greater world!
They say children are the world, and that they control the future
But how do we move forward when society is pulling triggers
Not just bullets in a gun
It’s the pain of running and running and running…
Tired, exhausted, but getting stronger
As we sing Amazing Grace and hold on longer
Together we can, together we will, overcome some day.
I never thought I’d say this but
I don’t want to go to school
It’s not cool how I don’t feel safe now
The unexpected is expected…
Black on black crimes like boys fighting girls
Gang fights and so much more
I don’t want to go to school, the abuse isn’t cool
Is this what Dr. King fought for?
For African Americans to walk away from pressure?
New Orleans schools are not nations.
No one works together and many don’t know their obligations
Yes, obligated to teach, to learn
Yes, obligated to overrule
NO! NO! NO!
Life in New Orleans consists of
No kindness nor mercy
Thus, I push through all cruelty
As I take a seat to enjoy the ride, I look to my side and see
“There’s no progress without struggle”
So I remain strong and keep my hustle
Work hard and play harder
That’s the motto to go further…
This community has taught me how to deal with pressure
And I kind of like it because it pushes me to work harder
And play smarter. Yes, growth, that’s my only oath
I promise to fulfill this pledge, I shall not get knocked off the edge
I promise to allege. Yes, assert to be true
True to who I am and true to my past
My past is the reason “I’m flying first class”
There’s no justice for me
I do not want any sympathy
I demand justice! Is it here for me?
Society wants me to remain humble
No! I shall not crumble nor stumble
Nowadays it’s okay for black women to get put down
In New Orleans society constantly makes us frown
Right now I’m 10 toes down
The only strength I have is to shout “I will not stop fighting”
With or without a doubt
There’s no justice for me
I do not want any sympathy
I demand justice! Is it here for me?
I lied to myself saying everything was all right
Knowing I was crying every single night
But this, the fight I chose, how will I make it?
Only God knows
I consider the fight within emotional, spiritual, and physical
All fights will create me to be phenomenal
And all those who wish I never rose?
Will applaud me on all 10 toes
Only God knows
Dare you not know who I am?
Dare you not know where I stand?
I am an African Queen wishing we all could walk hand in hand
My authority, power, and history has created the Queen I am
Yes, I said Queen and I’ll say it again! Queen, I am…

      

Geaux Girls! Magazine is created for and with New Orleans teen girls. For more writing by and for NOLA girls, visit geauxgirlmagazine.org and follow Geaux Girl! on social media at @geauxgirlmagazine!

Join Our Playdate

Get our parenting e-newsletter and they won’t run with scissors.





Latest NOLA family-friendly stuff


Special needs in NOLA