Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 12.08.17 PM

The Buford City Schools Diversity and Inclusion Program decided to host an inaugural Black History Month Poetry Contest. This was a way for students to not only learn about black history, but for them to make their voices heard through the art of poetry.

The contest was open to all Buford City Schools students in grades sixth through 12th. Contestants were able to submit their original poems that could not be longer than one page typed out by the Feb. 15 deadline.

The top three poems were selected for both Buford Middle School and Buford High School. These six poems were read out loud during the February meeting of the Buford City Schools Board of Education by the student authors.

The North Gwinnett Voice is honored to share the works of these talented authors through their original poems celebrating Black History Month.

— Staff Reports 

Buford High School — First place winner

“What Black History Means to Me”

By Hailey Conwell, ninth grade

They think I’m an animal tho they only see skin

The people before me know what kind of situation I’m in 

They spat in our faces and told us we’re trash

I want not this future, tho it’s been a consistent past

Freedom was once only a song a slave could sing

That same slave probably never knew his ancestors were kings

We braided our hair to help us lead the way 

On a path that would somehow lead our people to a joyous day

We were taken from kingdoms to come and be slaves

Our names and our cultures they worked hard to erase

Our bodies, our hair, and our features aren’t worthy of the spotlight

But when a girl with milky skin has them these standards change overnight

They called my people a hateful word that starts with the letter N 

They did things to us that should be considered a sin

We protested for our rights, they were taken not given

Our leaders such as Malcolm X were determined and driven

Our people worked hard from July to December

And produced moments in history we will always remember

They tell us “that was a long time ago” and to” just get over it”  

Ruby Bridges was the first to desegregate schools

If it was that long ago how is she only 66

My people, my leaders, my mentors, my community

All bring and mean something that is special to me

We made heavenly meals out of what was considered trash

We worked hard in fields for hours and got nothing-no cash

My people stood up for what they knew was right

When injustice strikes we unafraid to stand up and fight

We push through in all conditions especially the ones that are unfair

I love my ebony features, my Nubian skin, and my kinky hair 

I love that my skin glows in the sun

I adore that my hair so versatile- I can go from box braids to a bun

From as dark as night to the color of the sunlight

I’m amazed at how one group of people could be so bright

It’s endearing that so many pieces of history 

can come together and make something that means so much to me.

Buford High School — Second place winner

Untitled

By Nyszjaylah Cunningham, 11th grade

Black Girl, skin like gold, coiled hair that Defies 

gravity with soft kisses from the ancestors.

Black Girl, A goddess like deity Oshun, she shines bright, filled with sweet water love.

Black Girl, the blueprint of fashion, the deity of hustle who leaves glitter when she walks.

Black Girl, my heart goes to you, you inspire me with your walk and by your talk.

Black Girl, full brown lips, wide curvy hips, long, colorful, expensive nail tips.

Black Girl, Breonna, Sandra, Kamala, Michelle, Lupita, Serena, Stacy & more.

Black Girl, Society may try to break you as a whole, but never your beautiful soul.

Black Girl, Box braids, cornrows, doogro, twist, wigs, hot comb, locs, you have it all

Black Girl, Lightskin, Brownskin, Darkskin, Albino, Blonde, the most genetically Diverse. 

Black Girl, under years of a chained oppression, you still keep your head up and continue to strive for life the life you were always destined.

Black Girl, skin like gold, coiled hair that defines gravity with soft kisses from the ancestors.

Buford High School — Third place winner

“The Colors of Justice”

By Tatum Ozment, 11th grade 

A picture is painted on the canvas of time

Raised on a gallery of a million voices

Brought to bright life by raised fists

Breathed into history by the marching of feet

And it says more than a thousand words ever could.

There are the lines of color at Selma,

The streaks of red and the golds of determination,

Then there is the whirring of harmonies of the buses in Montgomery,

Its inhabitants sitting inside a pool of peace,

reflecting its battle cry in a warm, tranquil song

that sang to the nation without a single punch thrown

The March on Washington flutters into view,

The sunlight glinting against the water the way that justice glinted into the future,

And these images all come together in its glorious picture

Inspiring those artists of the next generation

Inspiring those artists that still paint now

Inspiring those artists that still breathe the colors of justice.

For there was always paint left to add to the picture

Always more story to tell

Always more hope to be applied

Always more fight to go on

And it triumphed

And the picture still glows on today

All in its glorious vitality.

Buford Middle School — First place winner

“Fire of Legacy”

By Ava Jones, eighth grade

Brought by boat, my ancestors came

Unknowing, they started a flame

Being tossed and turned on the deep blue sea,

It would take a long time for them to be set free

They worked as slaves, day and night

But they never gave up the fight

Courageous people nurtured the flame

Like Tubman, Douglass, Lincoln all wanting the same

The Civil War started

The flame growing strong

The Emancipation Proclamation came

Then the war ended

Putting slavery to shame

Centuries later, the fight isn’t done

Activists knew and continued the flame

Obstacles drizzled on the fire

But they continued, not wanting the future to be dire

Here we are now

The fight still going

The flame still glowing

It won’t stop until it has won

Racism is gone and we are all one

Buford Middle School — Third place winner

“Black History Leaders and Legends”

By Deion Miller, eighth grade

We celebrate Black History this month, but we already know,

that Black History goes back a very, long, long time ago.

With a lot of good faith and great focus too,

Black people have excelled, and it’s more than just a few. 

Obama was the first black president number 44,

Who created many opportunities that opened the door. 

Oh but look, there’s Kamala the first woman vice president,

She has shown many young girls what hard work has meant.

Martin Luther King Jr’s, “I have a Dream” speech,

Stems from many sermons he did preach.

Next, Michael Jordan the G.O.A.T of basketball,

Who jumped over defenders and made them look oh so small.

Also, Rosa Parks boycotted a bus,

She wouldn’t give up her seat which caused a great big fuss.

Harriet Tubman led hundreds of slaves to be free,

The Underground Railroad really helped them flee.

Finally, I can’t forget about Deion Sanders the great defensive back, 

Who blitzed the Quarterback and got many sacks. 

Black history is more than a month you see,

It shows many children they can choose what they want to be.

BY:

deanna@northgwinnettvoice.com

Deanna Allen has more than 12 years of experience working for print and online media publications. She has worked as a copy editor and page designer, as a reporter covering various beats, as...

Leave a Comment