Below is a poem that the teens and adults in our Civil Rights night created last year. The statements were made by Black and Hispanic teenagers, as well as a few of them made by a couple of adults. The words seem very fitting and poignant these days considering what has happened in the last week.
Misery is when black people don’t trust my motives and white people misunderstand them.
Misery is having to ask an African-American not to use the “n-word.”
Misery is when white people torture a black person.
Misery is when white people think all black people are ghetto.
Misery is when smart minorities choose to throw away their future.
Misery is when you go to South or West Dallas.
Misery is when you have to be in a class where your teacher is racist.
Misery is when people say I’m going to be nothing in life.
Misery is when you have to wait for someone to go get a “Spanish speaker” to assist you when you don’t need one.
Misery is when black people do black on black crime.
Misery is when a white person is scared to go to the black neighborhoods.
Misery is when black people hate their color so much they want to be white.
Misery is when people say, “Immigrants are invading the country.”
BUT…I have hope!
I have hope when my neighbors and I eat bar-b-que together and they show me how to make greens.
I have hope when I can go to church and get a hug from African-American, Hispanic and White friends.
I have hope when I see young black people who are serious about their education.
I have hope when the church not only cares but brings programs to help the community.
I have hope when I see people making a change for the better.
I have hope when immigrants aren’t ashamed of saying, “I am an immigrant.”
I have hope when other teachers tell me I have big opportunities ahead of me.
I have hope when I see a black person succeed.
I have hope when I hear of someone who started at the bottom reaches the top.
I have hope when I see someone in an abusive relationship make it.
I have hope when I see different cultures and backgrounds bonding together.
I have hope when I see younger people trying to be role models for their younger brothers and sisters.
We are from…fast food…fast kids…traffic on the highways…drug traffic in the streets…Texas heat…glazed doughnuts to chocolate doughnuts…sandboxes to mudpies…hard times…people doing hard time…bluegrass…hip-hop…sinners…repenters…no respect…respect.
We are from different backgrounds but we are all trying to make a change.
We are from Misery to Hope.