Jim Crow

By JS

A Nation divided by frustration.
From racism, slipknots in a noose
Resulting in Asphyxiation.
Just from looking…at a woman that’s Caucasian.

I now know that liberty for all is a fraud,
And the symmetry dividing a friend and enemy
Is the line between the grave of a slave
And a “white” man’s ideology.

Like biology, I learned to dissect through
The flesh of a frog’s false reality,
That it can live in freedom
In protection of nature.

But like me
(Emmett Till)
He’s captured
For a tortuous experiment
Caused by hatred.

It’s like my soul feels
The vibrations
Of a tortured slave’s scream,
Begging for liberation.

Losing patience….
So I’m pacing….
In my cell praying
To God for blessings.

But my fundamental nature
is God’s essence.
So everyday I wake up
I’m in God’s presence.

This is God’s lesson.
If John 10:34 is true
Then I’m a vessel
For the miracle of God’s message.

Comments

  1. Jordyn Salmon says

    JS,
    Wow, the points you bring up regarding racism and injustice in the United States are so powerful. My hope is that you are able to further use poetry or some other art form to bring attention to the issues that mean the most to you, and that you take charge of your future, perhaps through your religion.

  2. JS,

    Your poem is truly powerful. I think many people can understand your frustrations and the injustice that you talk about. Our nation is divided as you say and the issues that are mentioned in your poem are some problems that have continued for so long. Change can happen whether it is by writing poems or protesting. Thank you for sharing your worries and bring light to such relevant issues.

  3. JS,

    Your poem is truly amazing.
    I not only enjoyed how you expressed so many different issues and injustices in our country, but the way in which you presented and wrote about them was powerful.
    I feel as though you have such great power to spark change through your poetry and I thank you for sharing this piece with the world!

  4. JS–
    Thank you so much for your poem. Your writing is incredible and lyrical, but even more than that, you highlighted the racism, hypocrisy, and hatred that is present in white America. I really appreciated getting the opportunity to read your poem, and please continue to write and share your voice and hopefully I’ll be able to read more of your poetry. Your poem is going to be on my mind for a long while, so thank you again for it.
    Hannah

  5. JS – Alone, your intellect and wisdom astounds me. Your poem’s structure, word choice, and metaphors resonate a message beyond the paper in which they lie. “Like biology, I learned to dissect through the flesh of a frog’s false reality.” Pairing the institutionalized dissection of frogs in schools with the untaught truth of mass incarceration and injustice is very noteworthy. It’s play on words seem to inadvertently combat the education system, and in particular, the governments controlling it for keeping mass incarceration unspoken, although I would not be surprised if you did this knowingly. Though you may be yet another soul taken by this system of injustice, know this: You have been heard. Though you are forced into darkness, your words have found light. I, like many others who have read your work, will carry on this knowledge of injustice. There are many who use words like yours to combat this injustice, and I hope you remain strong and carry yourself forward. With hopes for a better tomorrow -Tyler

  6. Wow JS, this poem is really powerful. This is truly a scathing attack on racism in America. I like how you connected the memory of Emmett Till to the experience of a slave, and then to your own experience. My hope is that you can keep using poetry to bring these experiences and others together so that they expose and inform about American racism.

  7. Fateema Farzana says

    It’s almost as if i could hear the scream coming out of your poem. You have presented the true color of racism so powerfully in such a short poem. I agree with you and always pray that God will bring a miracle and help us all fine peace.

  8. Dear JS,

    You have a powerful writing voice that cuts to the core. You bluntly lay out the realities of what it’s like to be an African American man and show that even though slavery and segregation are technically over, that black people are still persecuted every day. I especially liked the imagery about the frog. Keep writing and sharing powerful messages like this one, you’re an amazing writer!

  9. JS-

    I love your voice. It’s smooth and but packs a punch at the same time. This is an important poem, and needs to be heard. Keep writing!

  10. Logan Lehman says

    JS,

    The first stanza of your poem captured my attention immediately. The rhyme scheme you used is so interesting, and I particularly like the way that it changes in order to connect different ideas. I feel like God has given you a gift for expressing yourself in this way, and I hope that you continue to do so.

  11. Molly Reed says

    JS, thank you for your poem. Your words are powerful. Your metaphor of biology to portray freedom spoke volumes. I pray that you find fulfillment in your life and wish all the best for your future.
    MR

  12. Tiona Lancaster says

    This piece is deeply moving, and I thank you for sharing a piece with such an intensified message. You have a lot on your mind, I can tell, and I encourage you to continue sharing your message. The world deserves to hear what you have to say.

  13. Thank you so much for this. Your words are so powerful. It is so important to bring attention to so many injustices that have divided the entire country. Please keep sharing your experience and your thoughts. People need to hear about something real, something outside their bubble.

  14. Zak Davis says

    JS

    Strong piece, I really enjoyed reading it. Obviously your thoughts are on point with the reality of the world we are in and have been in. The vivid pictures used in this poem are strong and the ability to use different types of examples from past experiences and bring them into the poem are great as well. Well done and thank you again.

  15. I’m incredibly impressed and impacted by your ability to intertwine historical racism to speak on modern day injustices. And, in the wake of this, you still manage to find hope and strength in religion. I wish the best for you and this country. I hope change helps both. Keep writing, you are incredibly powerful.

  16. JS-
    It was an honor to read your poem, thank you for sharing this powerful imagery. It made me think and challenged me to to dissect further into our society and much of what we divide ourselves over. You have quite a wonderful gift with your words I hope to read more of your poetry soon.

  17. Michaela says

    This poem was so powerful I was not only moved by the words you spoke but the flow that you have created in this piece. Your words have left me in reflection of the world that we live in and you were able to really express how deeply these issues have affected you and many others around you. I am so impressed with your work and thank you for sharing such an important poem for me to read and better understand.

  18. Jazzy Robinson says

    This was a deep and truly powerful poem. While it is written about the racism displayed during the Jim Crow era, I think it is also a reflection of the country today. Unfortunately, the racism, hypocrisy, and hatred is still there. But that doesn’t mean that things are hopeless. There are many who realize that the system is flawed and are working to fix it so that it is more fair to all! Voices like yours help to carry that message to those who need to hear it. Thank you for sharing this with the world!

  19. JS,

    This poem is powerful, I think many people have been frustrated with the long standing racial injustice in the African American community. I how you incorporated Emmett Till into the poem I think especially with the events surrounding George Floyd people have started to have a better understanding of racial injustice in this country.

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