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Showing posts from September, 2007

To Be Young, Gifted and Black

Last night the Dream Keepers and I met for the second time this fall. As usual, our time together begins slowly. We would rather talk and eat than write. Giggles abound. I'm tempted to be more teacher than facilitator. Both are necessary--but I sense that the young women work better for the facilitator.

Last night we read together the poem, HOWL by Nikki Giovanni from her new book of poems, Acolyte. The poem is dedicated to singer Nina Simone, who write a song called To Be Young, Gifted and Black inspired by a play of the same name written by Lorraine Hansberry. After reading the poem, the two young women decided to write on this theme. Here is their work. As usual, it is moving to me and I hope for you.

Young, Gifted, and Black
by Natalie Branch

I am young, smart, and African American. I know that may seem like a little, but it's saying a lot more than you know.

To people like my sister, being young means not having your own voice and always having to prove yourself. To me, being…