Who Am I?

By .

Who am I?

A black man who no one sees?
I’m a black man, just trying to be free.

Free from discrimination, incarceration and poverty,
Free, just let me be free.
Free from stereotypes and mental slavery,
Free, will we ever be free?

Am I supposed to be ashamed?
Will I get blamed?
Just because I’m a black man.

Quick to label me a thug,
because of the color of my skin,
Did I ever really have a chance to live?

Another brother shot down,
A lifeless body on the ground.

Bloodshed is a part of our roots,
Flash back to Billie Holiday,
Singing Strange Fruit.

But we’re not hanging from trees,
We’re being killed in the street.
Filmed for millions to see,
The police killed me.

My last words were,

Don’t let OUR deaths be in vain.

(Robyn wrote the first version of this poem when she was 13 years old. She has updated it to reflect current events but the underlying issues of systemic racism remain the same. See more of Robyn’s work here.)

About Robyn Martelly

Robyn is from Cape Breton Island, she grew up in the diverse community of Whitney Pier, a Canadian heritage site. She's a contributing author and a self-taught artist, her skills ranging from painting to poetry. Some of Robyn's work has appeared in LOVE (Leave Out Violence) Newsletter, Teens Now Talk Magazine, Understorey Magazine, Montreal Writes, and the Cape Breton Post. She has 15+ years’ experience creating beautiful art and working with various community organizations throughout Halifax and Sydney. Robyn's art is inspired by her culture, community, and current events. Find Robyn on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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