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Poetry - 13th Edition

Kings and Queens

We were kings and queens

Once upon a time in Africa, the motherland

Black skin was our pride and we had power in our hand

We walked freely on our native land, breathing pure air into our lungs

We built kingdoms that were spoken to life with our native tongues

We had great power over our area and the many beast,

We were the baddest around to say the least

We were kings and queens

We remained one but always competitive between our tribes

This went beyond thought when we took the white man’s bribes

A conquered tribe for ten thousand pieces of gold

And it was done, the ones with our skin had been sold

Packed tight onto a boat to go far across the sea,

The beginning of oppression and slavery, a fate we could not foresee

We were kings and queens

Our people were enslaved for over 200 years,

We built life for the whites with our blood, sweat and tears

From picking cotton, and raisins their babies we did it all

With tortuous beatings and suffering, God was all we could call

We survived years of following the white man’s doctrination,

To finally being freed by the Emancipation Proclamation

That led to share cropping, separate but equal,

Jim Crow laws, or should I say “slavery’s sequel”

We were kings and queens

Things were separate, but not equal, so we opposed with civil rights

A movement led with words, protesting and spiritual fights

From pure ignorance the lives of our young they would steal,

This is shown through the brutal deaths of the four little church girls and Emmit Till

We fought for education because that was considered a crime,

Our first chance of that came with the integration of the little rock nine

Don’t forget about Ms. Rosa Parks who fought for the right of her seat,

It may sound simple, but as blacks these were obstacles that we had to defeat.

And never forget about our great hero reverend Martin Luther King,

His words were reminisced as the words that let freedom rings

We fought and we marched on as far as the rising sun,

It took time but the civil rights era is a battle that we won

We were kings and queens

Now people with different skin may live together as a nation

We have rights, freedom of speech and education

Gabby Douglas, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, all black people that dominated in the Olympics

We don’t only dominate in sports but in education, check the statistics

We cannot forget about Barack Obama, the beloved President who showed melanin is intelligent,

He made it evident

And now we are so much more

We are teachers, leaders, doctors, poets, physicians, CEO’s, preachers, writers, actors, lawyers,

Mechanics, inventionalist,

We are anything we put our minds to

We are kings and queens   


 Jasmine Tanui Who is she? Everyone within a grasp of her writings wonders who she might be. Her scripts lift the dullness of the reader, leaving the people who have read it wanting more. She writes to please herself but the words on the paper are never selfish. Reading her poetry is like knowing her. You know her greatest fears and her roots of happiness all from the letters she forms into words. You feel her sadness and celebration. Her writings make her indestructible. She is Jasmine Tanui, sometimes known as Jemutai, her native name. She is a 19-year-old, African American girl with Kenyan roots.                                                                         

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