Today, I had the opportunity to connect with some middle schoolers in Charleston. I planned to focus on identity, introduce a spoken word poem and a hip hop song and get to writing and sharing some poetry. The day took an unexpected turn but I’m positive we’ll work our way to writing. I had them play a game. It was meant to be an icebreaker but evolved into multiple rounds as they began to relax.
Basically, the wrote the names of celebrities, historical figures, actors, athletes, etc… on an index card. We threw them in a hat and the objective was to personify the name on the card. You could give hits, use your body but you couldn’t reveal the name. The names included: Deez Nutts Guy, Kelly Rowland, Future, George Washington Carver and more… (What if these four people did a track?)
We talked about respect, the delicate relationship between teacher and student, the spectrum of big mad and little mad and managed to have a few laughs in between. I realized I missed sharing my experiences and helping youth make sense of things they don’t yet understand. A topic arose before I entered the classroom of, “talking white and talking black.”
So, this poem is for you all. Jovan Mays- “Black like…”