Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2023 Winner

Africa Speaks

The wounds you have inflicted on me are still hurting

My people, my goods, my life, all stolen

Look how my people lived so vibrant

with joy and never with complaint

The gold, the ore, and even my language

Gone, So unexpectedly, it was hard to gauge

The extent to which this would continue

The fire in my heart was subdued

Extinguished, without thought of the effects

No more jumping no more dancing, what remained were flecks

Of a society once very successful

How could one be so cruel

You have destroyed me as you progressed

Came into my land, and treated me as less

You reduced me to an animal

An ape, a species with no reason at all

Forced your western ideas and religion on me

All to gain land and riches and be wealthy

Before, you left me with absolutely zero

But now you say it was a while ago

You pay slave owners but not the slaves

And give little just to save face

You forget what you did

And how much we had to bleed

We took our own lives

So that we might not be led into demise

A world where we would have no will

No freedom, or platform to show our skill

Abilities that were hidden because of this narrative

That we were dirty, not worthy enough to live

Can you ever be forgiven

Do you even deserve to be forgiven

For the atrocities you committed against us

The time you stole; ruined a world so precious

Full of life, light, and community

Replaced with hatred, distrust, animosity,


My answer is yes


For humans are not without failure and fault

Lord forgive them, for what they do they know not

But am I due nothing

For the crimes committed against my children

The diamonds on that crown are not yours

The rubies the emeralds and the bronze

They are mine

In my museum, should they shine

Is wrong of me to ask

Is it a hard task

To give back stolen property,

Stolen history and money

I think not.


Kenechi Emuwa

St. Albans School

Grade: 9


Silver Spring, MD


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

My favorite author is Mike Lupica

Dream for the Future:

Go to the Olympics

Inspirational Figure:

My mom