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Watch a video of Jilliam Root reading "Captain."

January 2012

2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards

Poetry: High School

Honorable Mention

Captain
Jilliam Root,
9th grade, The Neighborhood Academy


Unnoticed by the captain of the basketball team,
As he talks to the other girls
With long blonde hair,
Pale skin and beautiful eyes.
Then there’s me.
What is so different about us?
The attitude of a queen
The sass in my looks
Unfortunately
Popularity is not in my curriculum.
Is it because I’m not of the same skin color,
Because I have
Tan skin and curly hair?
Real color,
Not fake, but real.
In my genes runs a string
Of different cultures
Intertwining with one another
Labeling me “different.”
I’m not white,
A part of me begs for it,
For him to treat me the same.
But until my true beauty is noticed,
The one with color,
I’ll just have to move on.

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

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