June 15, 2020



While some things may be painful to hear, this is a time to listen hard to communities of color. These difficult times demand that we have hard conversations about race, and real conversations begin with real listening. In that spirit, FCNY invited the youth of the TURN IT AROUND-Charlestown Coalition community to send us poems describing how they are feeling, in their own words, no editing, no holding back. Be aware, the poems reflect the raw emotions our youth is experiencing right now – they are genuine and important to hear.




Precious Udeh (17 years old)

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter
say it like you mean it
not because it’s a trend

Black Lives Matter
my brothers and sisters
can’t go anywhere or do
anything without worrying about
their life

Black Lives Matter
because at this moment
innocent lives are being
taken away from our community

Black Lives Matter
Go! Protest!
scream at the top of your lungs
until you are heard
It’s time for a Revolution

On the Spot


Emma Udeh (18 years old)

Eyes wide shut, we’re in

the spotlight now

our audience? anyone, the ones

who allow

such a country, such a system

filled with hate

to continue to rule, to continue to perpetuate

The U.S., or better yet, Ameri KKK

would rather the world burn

than things go the other way

They scream red-faced, that

all lives matter

yet they do all they can to

make the crowd scatter

They fire painful bullets,

both rubber and live

to a group that was anything

but allegedly wild

They try to flip the tables:

What if Floyd was white?

Would there be riots?

Would there be fights?

They scramble for excuses,

anything to justify

that losing your life for a

20-dollar bill is a good

enough “why?”

So until we are heard, and

changes are made,

the protests will continue.

We will prevail




Fatima’s poem: (Fatima Fontes 20 years old)

It’s 2020 & a innocent black man was just killed by a cop, now the whole world asking when is racism ever going to stop?

We live in a world where blacks protested their whole lives for justice, but all white cops do is try to confront us.

All we want is to be treated equal, but how is that going to happen if we are living in the slavery sequel?

we are just PEOPLE, with a different skin color, but why does that mean we get treated differently from all the others?

We are forced to teach our young children to protect themselves from the very own people who are suppose to protect us.

Now all we can go is act reckless, but our own “president” is trying to leave us breathless.

But is it because they are jealous? That we all have different skin complexions that makes us look majestic!

That we are the very people who are most athletic & unapologetic for being a skin color that makes us look the most aesthetic?

We just want no more innocent men killed. When will that SIMPLE request be fulfilled?



Oumar’s poem: (Oumar Balde 16 years old)

Blacks in the US they say we’re inferior Not because of how we are but because of our exterior They set us up then say we are dangerous Then they criticize us like they don’t understand us

We say black lives matter they say all lives matter We try to speak out on what’s happening and they try to cover it with sum bullshit chatter They see a black person they say they a problem starter They start shit and try to hide it like we won’t see, man they really think they smarter

George Floyd say his name

Police killing black people like it’s some type of game However our dead homies give us more courage to stand up so this place won’t be the same Cuz if we don’t say nun these political leaders won’t do shit it’s really a shame

It’s crazy how they still find a way to say black people are the ones to blame We have proved that we’re guilty but they go on and still try to frame But we endured a lot already so this is sum light Regardless what happens we will continue to fight




Sammy’s poem: (Samuel Quintin 14 years old)

Black lives matter

Brown lives matter

How many times do we have to say it through day and night.

How many times do my brothers and sisters got to die in broad daylight just for you to say you know what they’re right.

Because Black lives matter.

Why is that when a white child has “the talk” its about the birds and the bees but when a black child has “the talk” its about how he should do what the cop says so he wont get shot in the middle of the street. Brown lives matter to. Why is that i can be born in your country in the U.S of A but you still speak enlish to me slowly acting like I havent been speaking that same language as you for the past decade. Because when you speak to me like that you’re telling that even though i was born here im still spanish and that im from another planet, cuz im an alien in your eyes right? And beautiful intelligent blacks friends who ask peacefully to be seen in a different light is what threatens your life right? Because you people seem to love black and spanish food and black and spanish dance but the moment we ask to be seen as equal you won’t even spare a passing glance. Because the natives, blacks, spanish, asian, and indian and every other race that was pushed and stomped under your white foot. Im here to tell you we are here to stay because we built America from the very FIRST DAY! And i don’t hate white people because there are some who stand with us but after seeing them associated with us you act like they’re not the same color of your back hand. America home the free land of brave. Nah more like America home of the racist whites to be free and the other races who got their rights but are still treated like slaves.