Dietrich College News
2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards
Poetry: High School
Second Place (Tie)
9th grade, Pittsburgh CAPA
When I was in
4 th grade, I
liked to be alone.
Hugging my knees
wrestling on the brick,
the girls, in their corners
giggling and blushing
behind tight hands.
Me, the observer.
Legs dangling from the
I noticed that, all
the black girls
were huddled together.
Then I look to the other side
of the playground.
All the white girls were
also together, playing with
This was the first time
I became aware of
the difference between
They taught us in school,
that Martin Luther King
saved us. That he
segregation. As much as I want to believe
that, I couldn’t.
In art class, later that
we were learning our
A new girl came in our class,
the principal by her side,
and her head held high.
Her skin was brown like
a toasted almond.
They put her right
next to me.
She had no supplies,
she just listened that period.
As the bell was ringing,
I was putting my things into my Bratz
she came over to me and asked,
“Are you Chinese or something?
I thought Chinese people didn’t go here.”
My little heart pounded
in my chest.
I shook my head so
hard at her.
Every bone in me
wanted to not be Chinese.
I felt myself on the verge of
tears, washing out of my
I tried opening them bigger,
as big as they could go
just to prove to her.
I would not be Chinese.
I was always told I had
lighter skin than most people.
I asked my friend,
if I looked Chinese, and she told me
“You aren’t Chinese? I thought you
What is Blasian?
Was that a real race?
I didn’t want to be Blasian.
I wanted to be black,
like all the other
View the complete list of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Award winners.
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