Manual High Poems: Dear Future Children

Dear Future Children

by Denn’e Watkins


Dear Future Children
By: Denn’e Watkins

If I had a son
I would tell him…
You don’t need to know how to dribble a ball or rap a lyric to be someone

If I had a son
I would tell him…That he can do or be anything if he puts the time in
I would tell him… he’s going to have a hard time achieving his goals.
because society will make it hard because of who you are and what you look like

If I had a son
I would tell him… during his teenage years you’ll be seen as a “criminal” or “delinquent”
I would tell him… people’s expectations of you will be low
they will think you are a lost cause
just another drop out
just another gang banger
But I would tell him… be bigger than your story
I would tell him… you are valuable. You are brilliant.

If I had a son
I would tell him…that it’s more dangerous for him to wear a black hoodie in Green Valley Ranch than it is for him to wear a black hoodie in the East-Side.
I would tell him … it’s ok to wear a hoodie during the the day but take off your hood when the sun goes down, for that hood could be the reason you don’t wake up the next day.
Something as as small as a hood could be the difference between life and death.
I would tell him…I don’t tell you these things to be bossy but I say it simply to keep you alive.

If I had a daughter…
I would tell her…You don’t need to be in a music video or be in a movie to be someone
I would tell her… Beauty isn’t in what you wear or in how your make-up looks
I would tell her…. Black is beautiful
I would tell her… she is powerful.
I would tell her… people will try to tear you down, objectify you. Don’t let them.
Don’t let them silence you by calling you bossy.

If I had a daughter…
I would tell her… you were not brought into this world to be someone’s housewife.
You can do more than cook and clean
You are more than eye candy
Your worth isn’t determined by your appearance.

Dear future children,
I am sorry this world is pitted against you.
I am sorry I cannot stop it from trying to tear you down.

Today, I speak for you.
I speak for your future.
I speak to carve out a space for you in America’s future.
A space where you are safe to pursue happiness, reclaim your power
reclaim your worth.

Dear future children, America was never America to me or to my parents.
But I will fight to make sure it is America for you.