Poem by Poetic Taee

by Tiese “Poetic Taee” Austin
12th grade, Truman Middle College

CPS done CPD’d my education. 

Seized every lesson plan planned to educate me about my people and killed my dreams. Remember, African American lit is an elective. Anything not slavery or Jim Crow is neglected. Teach them to fail themselves. Never take a brown horse to water if it’s thirsty. Teach them to be oppressed. Never teach them of any success. A black man held a light bulb above my head while Thomas plotted on how to flip the switch. Said a white man did it. A white man has always done it. He always schooling my people giving them projects, the hood. We don’t know how to spell neighbor because we’re redlined into not being one. We steady talkin Ls. We don’t have neighbors because they are our family. Blood brothers, cell mates. Schools can’t keep track of funds for books or to pay teachers but got projectors in the hallway to lure new prey into prisons. Punish the poor because of your privilege. Fed like criminals just not in loafs. Loath meeting adulthood because I can’t pay taxes, or mortgage, or buy a car but I know Columbus stole America, I know the great gatsby from cover to cover, and I know how to graph a slope. Was never taught how to climb one though. I was taught to expect obstacles. Remember if it isn’t a challenge it isn’t enough. You are taught to never be enough. Surrender to the the most high… ACT Score. ACT, act like you know what you’re doing. Act like you don’t know ACT stands for Anchoring Colored Teens. Act like a score doesn’t make you feel poor about yourself. Act like a score doesn’t set you up to be poor in the future. They grade you to degrade you. Put a pencil in your hand and a Scantron on your desk and demand you pass with no knowledge in your mind and no lead. Lead you to the valleys of the shadows of college and jobs. Barefoot and hungry. Crawling, reaching, and praying for the test to be over. 


Poem by Peter Lekas

11th grade, William Howard Taft High School

Our educator,
The person who has
open doors whenever.
Are the ones being
Treated the worst.

They don’t get the respect
From the board of education,
From the students they teach
And we say we “know” this teacher
But do you know what’s happening
In their personal life?

If they do not feel respected
Then they will not give respect
They will treat you the way you
Treat them.
Then the students won’t respect
No one will be respecting any one

But some people don’t deserve
The police who are
killing innocent
pedestrians trying to
get there life
In shape, but they can’t
do that 6 feet under.

Some people don’t deserve
Such as those teachers
who don’t teach anymore.
The ones who throw a
Piece of paper at you
And tell you to complete it.

Tell us why the the ones
Who are supposed to educate
And motivate us are the ones
who are giving us more and
more anxiety?
You say you teach but
Is giving us a paper teaching?
Then failing us on the
Midterm because you said we
Just didn’t pay attention.

And the ones who are supposed
To make us feel safe are the
Ones who are making us feel
More and more scared to leave
The safety and comfort of
Our homes.
Why do you fear people who
Don’t look like you?
Maybe you’re the problem.

You say the system is broken
But the system was never complete.

We understand
We understand that everyone
Had problems and
We can never know each exact
But why take your aggravation
Out on us the students,
The innocent pedestrians?

We understand that
Budget cuts such
But what you don’t understand
Is that it’s not our fault.
We didn’t decided to make
You’re hard earned money get
smaller and smaller,
I promise.

Yet along with those
Bad teachers/ police officers.
There are good ones,
They may be hard to find.
But there are out there they
Don’t deserve the things that
Are happening to them.
They have realized that
If you want something done
You have to go out and do it.

I have gone to one to
many schools,
To realize that sometimes
You have to go out and make
a difference.
Instead of blaming the
Students and pedestrians.

you have to wake
Your third eye,
To see what is happening
To this corrupted system.

Poem: We’re Not The Same

by Stephanie Johnson
10th grade, Linblom Math and Science Academy

They try to fit us into the mold of the perfect student.
They try to create the leaders we already have in the new
generation. But don’t they see they aren’t working with the
generations now? We’re not the same.

They base things off of a number on a test that is clearly
objective. They put us into sections that has nothing
to do with the type of person we are. They try to create the
same people our parents are by enforcing the same rules.

The system is like a faulty pipe. They leak problems until it just
explodes causing everything to drown in debt and misled kids.
Yes this is saying that there are no such thing as
bad kids only kids that don’t know any better that legitimately
show that we aren’t the same.

The system – the education head – says one curriculum
for all students even the students that have learning
disabilities. But we aren’t the same.

Poem: A Letter To Mayor Rahm Emanuel

By Jakera Kimble
8th grade, Sayre Elementary Language Academy


Man Its Really Different Crazy

All Kinds Of Obstacles And Challenges That We One Day Will Have To Face

Unless We Put Him Back In Place


What The Hell Were You Thinking

You Shouldn’t Be The Mayor You Are Bad At Making Decisions

How Dare You Try To Steal Our Education

Closing All These Schools And The Other Dependent Places

You Looking Very Racist

You Know That There’s A Lot Of Black Facing Poverty

Leaving Americans With This Odd Curiosity

Peoples Phyllophytes Of Democracies

Your Children Can Afford All These Private Schools But How About The Families That Has Less Than You

You Weren’t Thinking About Us Were You

But You Want The Best For My Country

The Devil is A Lie And The Truth Isn’t Within It

We Found Out Your Truth

You Only Thinking About You

In For The Money, In For The Fame

Raising All These Prices Of Living , Gas,  Food,  And Other Necessities

This Is So Unnecessary

All These Test Are Redundant

Why You Think Drop Out Rates Are Increasing And So Is Poverty

The Amount Of Stress You Put On Your People Is Outrageous More Like Contagious Because When You Add The Extra Foolishness The Challenges Are Back To Back

For The Community

The So Called People You Love

What Is Your Explanation

Come On


You Gone Have To Face It

That You Are



A Disgrace To My Race


You Look Like A Republican

A True Democrat Wouldn’t Leave

Me Out

She Out

He Out

We Out

We Need You Out

The Mayors House

Before I End With My Letter There’s One More Thing I Must Say

This Chaos Is Unnecessary

Your Criteria Is So Obsolete

You Might As Well Press Delete  Because Your Decisions Are So Irrelevant To We


Poem: What is Education?

by Tlam Minh
7th grade, Edison Regional Gifted Center

we may never know…
because the board ain’t doing their job.
This ain’t survival of the fittest.
This ain’t the Neolithic.
We are a puzzle and when-
one of us falls out of place,
we all crumble.
No child left behind?
Yeah right, you psychopathic dream killers.
Killin’ the dreams of children.
Crushin’ and poundin’ them into
We are the generation that replaces you.
If you don’t educate us,
we might as well undo the works
of our founding fathers,
and return the
real survival of the fittest.
Money may bring power,
but knowledge IS power.
So do something else
than making teachers slaves.
Listen and hear the song
the birds are singing.
Stay a while and watch
the flowers blooming.
And feel a gentle breeze flow by,
leaving behind a trail of dust.
board of education…

Poem: What Happened?

by Ariana Strong
11th Grade, Harlan Community Academy High School

I remember when teachers and students looked forward to school,
We thought it was cool.
What happened?
The government corrupted;
Budget cutting.
Unequal opportunities across the city,
We don’t need the pity.
Do they even care?
Doesn’t seem so, or things would be fair.
What we need are more diverse classes,
So we’re not labeled lazy asses.
We want to learn,
But we’re stopped at every turn.
We don’t want, nor need limitation,
We need better and diverse education.

poem by Tresure Adams

poem by Tresure Adams
11th grade, Harlan Community Academy High School

education was made for me
my melanin deletes my chances to wear a cap and gown,
they frown upon my creation
but it is this nation that has put a gun in hand
stuck between sides with a fork in hand
where will I decide to consume?
if I go on the greener side, will my pigment fade
just because I defied the fate that was made

my skin fits a life I don’t want to lead
do I backtrack and think, or must I proceed
never satisfied, Lady Liberty is like most women
she wants all or nothing, but I must do something

my dreams, my hopes, my wants and needs,
do not appease the news or its newsfeed,
i just want opportunity, yeah they swear that it’s equal
but they have many options, we don’t even get a sequel

money makes the world go round
and we rotate the globe either way
we either read a book or we’re read our rights,
such a divided thing to say

we must conform to a nation where we don’t even belong,
and where the pledge of allegiance is the most sung song
god forbid we sing We Shall Overcome, apparently we made it
our rights are false and printed on paper that’s outdated