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January 2012

2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards

Poetry: High School

Honorable Mention

Not My Brother
Antwaunai Gurley
age 15, Langley High School


Growing up in the hood, you wanna be a dope boy.
Carrying around nothing but negativity.
Not a care in the world; school ain’t for you.
You got a job—it the streets.
Won’t ever join the basketball team or participate in swim meets.
3 baby mamas.
1 on the way.
Got like 2 sidelines, but call both of them ‘bae’ .
Not my brother.
He won’t be another
Black man from the hood.
On the news, found shot or dead.
Cuz’ upon those shoulders, you got a good head.
You’re gonna finish school.
Better get it straight!
Play some sports.
Boy, you’re gonna be great!
Yeah, you grew up in the hood, but the hood ain’t you.
Your life ain’t based around Red and Blue.
Bump the stereotypes. You’re going to college.
Best believe you’re gonna gain that knowledge!
Little black boy.
Nothing to do with the streets.
You’re gonna prove yourself worthy,
Just wait and see!

View the complete list of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Award winners.

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