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Manual High School Student Poetry: Proud To Be an American

Posted: January 16, 2015 at 8:20 am by , in Breaking News, Featured, Morning Magazine

Proud to be an American

– by Savanna Jones

 

 

Students from Manual High School in Denver visited KGNU recently to record some of their poetry. In their 10th grade American Literature class, the students have been writing, discussing, and reading about “The American Dream”. They’ve been inspired to write their own poetry on this theme. KGNU will be featuring these poems throughout January.


You tell me I should be proud to be American,

when fifty percent of black and brown people live in poverty
for a person of color, there’s no such thing as equality.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
when I look around and see the same paradigm of white male control,
the racial hierarchy in our country is not something we should extol.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
when I flip through my history textbook and only see the triumphs of the white man,
covered up stories of oppression, slavery, segregation, genocide, and the Ku Klux Klan.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
when those in power prioritize mass incarceration over excellent education.
It’s the continued agitation, the black and brown common frustration.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
When more black and brown are unemployed
Affirmative action failed us, our families destroyed.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
when schools of color go without. New books for our scholars?
You think money is green, but all I see is white dollars.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
but my school can’t go a year without being shook.
A school composed of minorities, stereotyped on first look.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
when black and brown like sport are shot down, your skin your sin.
Death by law enforcement in neighborhoods that we still aren’t welcomed in.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
yet my gender keeps me from being equally paid.
Supposed to be eye candy for men who just want to get laid.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
remove my hat, salute the flag, red, white and blue pride,
but when you see us coming you cross to the other side.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
Ignore all that isn’t but really should be
I get it now, it’s all very clear to see.

You tell me I should be proud to be American,
but America to you, doesn’t mean me.