Poem: To be Black and alive

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Chelsi Campbell

To be Black and alive.

To be Black and alive is to thrive 

In everything we do

We strive to be the greatest.

Our skin is like honey

No money could compare

To our richness

We wear our crowns with pride. 


Our Braids are more than enough

They exude elegance like our afro puffs

Our hair is a form of expression, 

Read up on it and you might learn a lesson. 


We were built tough.

With the rhythm of beating drums

Of our ancestors,

Power runs lyrically through our blood. 


My people were called Maroons.

Mightier than the tide-pulling forces of the moon

They resiliently pursued their escape.

Courageous and daring, I carry all of their traits. 


Black people should be

Unapologetically loud, 

Proud to state how we feel,

Because the experiences we face are so unreal.  


Waiting to be ignited our emotions are like an inkling flame.

Growing with each breath, they get stronger when you say our names.

Through all the battles we wear our gear,

Screaming to the world that we are here.   


We are revolutionary. 

Waiting for change to happen

Was never an option 

Our minds are our weaponry. 


I will forever say Black Power,

Our leaders have taught us well

And just like Nina Simone,

I’ll captivate you with my spell.


And now that this poem 

Has reached its end, I wish you well.

Being Black has given me confidence,

Can you tell?


Chelsi Campbell is a first-year media production student who was born in the East side of Toronto Canada, where she grew up in a diverse community that has helped shape the way she views the world. From a young age, she has always wanted to create change and be heard. Chelsi uses spoken word, dance and acting to express herself through the arts. She has performed and emceed at Black History Month events, STOMP urban dance showcase and art shows. Empowered by social injustices and racial inequality, Chelsi uses her voice to create change. 

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