40th Annual Parkmont Poetry Festival: Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

2021 Winner

Blast Off

Ten Nine Eight Seven

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

Being part of a marginalized group in America is not easy or fun.

It comes with annoyances that are always in the back of my mind.

They simply are present, like a heartbeat that is always pumping,

yet I am not always aware of its existence.

 

Six

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

Being one of only a few black kids in my class.

Reading a book that has the n-word in it

and the whole class turns to look at you.

When a teacher calls me by the other black girl’s name

and doesn’t even realize their mistake.

Always having to speak for the black race,

yet I am only one black voice.

The guilty feeling I have that if I don’t speak up,

other people may think I don’t care.

The pressure of working two times harder than everyone else

knowing it may not pay off in the long run.

 

Five

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

Not being safe in my own home.

Being scared of a cop car as it passes by,

knowing I did nothing wrong.

Being afraid of walking my dog on my street,

as if I am a criminal.

Being sure to have my hands out of my pockets

when I am in a store.

Being followed in the local store as if I did something wrong

just because I am black.

 

Four

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

Always having to look presentable when out in public,

because wearing sweatpants doesn’t cut it.

Having to always put my hair up or else

it will be called unprofessional and improper.

Always fighting for my right to own my own personal space

because people touch my hair without asking.

Being stared at by white men and women when I go outside

as if I am not even human.

 

Three

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

That feeling of always having to be quiet

when it comes to talking about race.

The feeling of not feeling loved by a world that has shown

what it truly thinks and feels about me.

That feeling that the world is out to get you.

 

Two

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

The frustration of seeing black people being killed on the news

…over and over again.

The frustration of seeing the police get away with murder, literally murder,

as if our lives do not matter.

 

One

Being black in America is unwelcoming, unjust, and annoying.

Being an outsider to the world.

 

Blast off

Heavy. Heaviness like bricks in my heart..

This weight I carry on my shoulders

is more than you can conceive.

 

Sometimes,

maybe all the time,

I want to be known as someone other than just the black girl.

I want to be known as Sloane.

I want to be, just be.

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Sloane Holder

Sloane Holder

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 8

Hometown:

Washington DC

Birthplace:

New York City, Manhattan to be exact.

Favorite Author or Book:

Everything, Everything and They Both Die at the End are my favorite books.

Dream for the Future:

To be succesful!

Inspirational Figure:

Kamala Harris and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw