Black vs. white

A black man is talking to a mixed group of kids at a high school, sharing the things a young black man goes through. He wants them to hear so they won’t make the same mistakes. But his message is not getting heard!

I’m on the path to success, well, I think I am.
But the white man thinks differently.
I’m in a war with my society:

Black boys, no dreams.
Black girls, babies at a young age.
White girl, cheerleader.
White boy, star football player with a four-year scholarship.
Black boys, jail cells.
Black girls, single mothers.
Black boys only have two ways to make it out: death or prison.
White man sits on his behind and gets paid more money than a black man will make in a year.
But if you cut us both open we all look the same. Can you tell the difference between a white boy and black boy without his skin?

I’m from San Francisco.
When you walk down the street,
you can see young black girls wearing booty shorts trying to figure out their next move.
You can hear teenage boys shooting dice on the corner.
You can hear homeless people asking anyone who’s walking by for spare change, but they get ignored.
You can see people selling drugs to their own kind; I’d say poison.
You can smell the drugs that are being smoked in the air by the addicts smoking at the bus stop.
A crackhead blows the smoke toward a teenage mom with her baby boy. She goes off: “You damn fool! You don’t have no type of respect!” He laughs and then takes another hit from his pipe.

It’s a war out there that I’m facing. I gotta make it out.
I’m a soldier in the army because it’s war outside my front door I’m facing.
I’m dressed with my gear.
I’m hearing guns and bombs going off.
I’m running to take cover, but I’m hit.
With a chance to get out.
Do I take the chance or do I continue to fight in the war?
I just wanna give up and die, but I can’t because that would prove that I really was just another black boy with a toe tag in a body bag!
But that’s why I’m sitting here talking to y’all, because after high school it’s the real world outside.

I know this might not be important to you, but this is the truth that I’m telling.
That’s the problem.
I was one of you one day, not listening, being “ghetto,” loud.
Look what happened to me. I’m black with no job, I been to jail, I’m a father, and I had dreams, but it’s too late to begin dreaming for change.

(pauses, looks around the crowd)

But no one here really wants to hear my story.

This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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