Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2017 Winner

Dear Mr. White Man

Why do you hate me?

Is it because my skin’s a couple shades darker?

Or is it because I am what you think is wrong?


You walk around living a privileged life

While we, minorities, work as many as three jobs to live.


You wake, stretch, dress in the morning without a care.

I wake up thinking, “How will my family get by?”

Money walks around with you, Mr. White Man

While my empty wallet cries.

I dream a dream dull with struggle.

What I wouldn’t do to trade lives with you.

But though you know my struggle

You still call me out of my name.

You don’t want me in your school, your neighborhood.

You don’t want me drinking your water, safe water.


How dare you treat me like I’m less than you?

You and I bleed the same blood,

Breathe the same air,

Walk the same earth.


But you know what?

Though it’s true my life has been harder,

It’s you I feel sorry for.

’Cause this society has left you blind.


Jason Leiva-Martinez

Parkmont School

Grade: 8


Adams Morgan


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

Langston Hughes

Dream for the Future:


Inspirational Figure:

My mother