This month my class was assigned to write an essay or poem to honor Black History Month. I chose to write a poem. I also chose to write about more than one person and to honor many civil rights activists in my poem. I liked this project a lot because it gave me a chance to write about my ethnicity and what we went through many years ago.

History

History looks like 1963, and everything in between,

Like Dr. Martin Luther King searching for diversity,

Like women marching because they are living in inadequacy.

Like Jackie Robinson taking that swing,

Like Muhammad Ali claiming his ring.

History looks like Rosa Parks refusing to get off that bus,

Like Dorothy Height, Bayard Rustin, and Frederick Douglass,

Like Ella Baker unbossed and unbought,

Like those insulting words Ralph Abernathy fought,

Like the laws of Jim Crow,

Like the influential words of Maya Angelou.

History looks like the drive of Malcolm X,

Like Blacks hanging from a tree with rope around their necks,

Like mothers worried day and night that their child could be next,

Like Ruby Bridges walking into an all-white school,

Like white supremacists acting out in ridicule.

History looks like young black citizens spat on because of their race,

Like a white man putting a 14-year-old boy in a sunken place,

Like the powerful tongue of W.E.B Du Bois,

Like black citizens afraid to make a noise,

Like a time where Blacks were afraid to breathe,

Like a time where freedom wasn’t free.

Kierra Newson is an eighth grade at Krueger Middle School. In the Middle is a monthly column by middle school students at Michigan City Area Schools.

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