Here is where you can find poems from the students at Educate Youth!
Also an interview from our very own Gail Wolkoff about the Spiritual Warriors poetry book!
An article talking about the Educate Youth students who wrote in the Spiritual Warriors poetry book.
We want to highlight Dr. Richard Thomas, who has inspired the students at Educate Youth to use poetry as a way to express their feelings and concern about the world we live in today. This is a poem he has written to the students at Educate Youth.
To The Beautiful and Wonderful And Courageous Poets of Educate Youth:
This sacred circle of spiritual warriors- Black youth struggling to carry the burden we have carried for years and tried to put down so they could pick up lighter burdens and dance in the sacred spaces our blood and broken bones and rears had earned for them.
(What were we thinking when we brought you into this world without protective armor? Did we think the wings we gave you were enough? I wish we had won a better world for you to be born into, to save you from fighting the fights we thought we had won.)
Listen to black youth trying to understand why they can't walk in the world like white youth without being followed in stores or getting shot or dream the dream that white youth dream without waking up in their parent's nightmares. Why they have to carry their people's hard and heavy history on their soft backs.
But they are not afraid!! They talk to Aunt Rosa, and Uncles Martin and Malcolm everyday on their cellphones. And when we worry if they are ready to carry this burden into the future, they laugh, plant sweet kisses on our foreheads and flash their muscles while dancing. They repaint our sacred spaces in their own courageous colors and sing... staring at the sun without squinting, They walk on air and sooth our worries with sweet songs.
We are no longer sorry we could not give you the world we promised before you were born. We know you own the future. We know you re busy in the workshops of our dreams of you-- building new worlds of wonder.
Student Poems and Encouragement
A time when I was encouraged was when I was at the clubhouse It was Spanish and I was struggling to get my words out I was getting help from Sunanna because she’s fluent When it comes to Spanish, I’m kinda truant I am never motivated to do work but Sunanna helped me Now i’m not as behind as I used to be Thanks to Sunanna she encouraged me - Morgan
Kierra’s Words of Encouragement:
Three years ago, I took a dance etiquette class. It was a very difficult time, because my dance teacher expected the other girls and I to be perfect, and we all know that everyone is not perfect.
After a while, it got very frustrating and I wanted to quit. I told my mom how I felt about it and we had a long talk. She explained to me how she never wants any of her kids to give up, which is what any parent wouldn’t want from any of their kids. One thing that I didn’t want to do was disappoint my mom. Not only did I know that I would disappoint my mom, but I’d be disappointed in myself.
I realized that it’s very easy for people to give up on things, just like me. I knew that I had to keep pushing if I wanted to finish that class. So, that’s exactly what I did. I finished my dance class, loud, proud, and feeling achieved.