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Feb 2014
A ball player and a thief
Will likely be pregnant by age 16.
Lives in the ghetto and is poor,
Often identified as a *****.
Runs fast and does drugs,
Hangs around with gangsters and thugs.
Has a gun or a friend with one.
Speaks in slang, must be part of a gang.
Mess with her, she'll pull a Sharkeisha on you.

If you were to picture a person of any race,
That fits the description that just took place.
A baller and ****, hmm... what race matches that?
Yeah you're right, that person is probably black.
Is fast, does drugs, and speaks with slang?
Lemme guess, is he also in a gang?
A young mother who is also poor?
Bet she doesn't know who the dad is, what a *****.
All these negative stereotypes associated with being black.
Its disheartening, sicking and its really sad.
And whats sadder is that if you are the opposite of all of that,
You are often told that you're not really black.

Does your skin colour change for going to Harvard?
Will it change for speaking like an English scholar?
Because I play hockey and not ball, does that make me white?
So what if I'm the type of person to run away from a fight?

You don't have to be irresponsible and rude to be considered black.
It's your ethnic background that determines that.
And to some people, all we are is the complexion of our face.
Light, dark, somewhere in the middle, to some, the bad of a few defines
our whole race.

Does running away from a cop, and being black give someone grounds to shoot?
Why is it that my skin color is what is most important to you?
Is asking a question when getting arrested for no visible reason really resisting arrest?
Does struggling to break free from restraints to catch my breath, give someone a reason to grab on tighter to strangle me to death?
The actions of a few don't define the actions of a whole group.
And this assumption that all black are thugs, thieves and liars has done clear damage to,
Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and so many more.
They didn't know it, but just by being black, they put their lives at risk when they stepped out their door.

Don't you think it's gotten too far when we have to prove Black Lives Matter, or when we the saying ofΒ a movement is Hands Up, Don't Shoot.
Should people have to be reminded that blacks are real people and that our lives matterΒ Β too?

We are athletes and musicians.
Lawyers and physicians.
The leader of a nation.
An anchorman of a news station.

We don't all fit into that mold that is preset for us.
You can and should expect great things of us.

Because we don't have to be a ****, or a baller to be considered black.
We define what type of black person we are, we determine that.
Michelle Nyamekye
Written by
Michelle Nyamekye  Canada
     Riot and James Christine
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