Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2020 Winner

Black Diamonds

When I was a toddler

I did not love

My thick black static hair,

that fell straight on top my shoulders

which I thought sure could not compare

while they tossed their light locks

and fluffed out their braids

they told me My strands were coarse,

unlike theirs that easily frayed.

I wished My eyes were not dark and black

like murky tainted water,

far different from the crystal ocean that I had always admired.

My skin was tinted with different hues,

not like theirs that shone and glowed

I wanted to be like them, I thought only then would I feel at home.


Everywhere I went I said

when I grow up I’ll be a blonde,

eager and excited about a magical fairy wand

to turn my hair soft and wavy

forgetting all My shades of dark navy.

to add platinum highlights at the tips of my curls

that would wind down my back in delicate swirls.

I wanted the bright color trails that curved in their eyes

and a noticeable pupil that couldn’t be disguised.

I said I wanted to dye my eyes

with a mix of green and blue,

because only then could I say my eyes are turquoise too.


But through all these years

it’s in this skin I have grown.

It has been My thick black hair

that cushioned every fall,

it has been these eyes

that were My windows to understanding it all.


And even though it took some time

now I finally see,

My black diamond eyes can sparkle just as bright

as any of yours can be.


Angela Ding

Sidwell Friends School

Grade: 6


Potomac, MD


Hong Kong, China

Favorite Author or Book:

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Dream for the Future:

I hope for a future where people are not looked at differently because of how they identify.

Inspirational Figure:

Both my amazing and hard-working parents!