Adia Guthrie ’21

Black history tells a story
The story of the birth of excellence from oppression
the birth of Beauty from ashes
The birth of Power from powerlessness

It’s crazy how some like to criticize black people for talking about the past
Since “we’re all equal now”
but can’t even see the privilege that allowed them to speak that out loud.
those are sentiments I will not allow.

Y’all must think it’s easy being black.
That our oppression does not exist.
That it does not matter We have separate lives because we are supposed to have equal opportunity
It does not matter we have separate pasts because we’re supposed to have equal futures
It does not matter we have separate schools because we’re supposed to have equal education

Equity does not live in separate but equal
Oppression will continue to thrive if all we have is equality but
From these roots of oppression grows a tree of excellence.
We are not products of circumstance but results of resilience
We’re just playing catch up in this game called life

The pressure from the oppressor will not stifle my greatness
Because from pressure comes diamonds.
From our pain comes the beauty of expression
Comes the music y’all love to bump to and the vernacular you love to imitate.
From our anger comes creativity
Because we will never be told what we can and can’t do.
There’s no way in hell we’ll sit idly by with our cards society delt.
When all we have left is hope that life is different than it is now,
We’re the ones who’ll to think ourselves out the box society put us in.
And we’re fighters, One day we will break out.

From our deprivation comes innovation
We’ve climbed the ladder shackled to the land that shackled our people once enslaved all the way up to a place of unlimited possibilities.
From our suffering comes greatness
And with our greatness comes pride which is why we celebrate black life.
We give our ancestors hope for tomorrow because on their shoulders we stand,
beacons of black excellence.

Adia Guthrie ’21
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