Dear Black son:


In school you pledge allegiance to the flag




“Liberty and Justice for all”


But something just doesn’t seem right about those words.

You see, school doesn’t really teach you what “all” actually means.

You have to find out through news broadcasts, Twitter, and your teary-eyed family

that “all” is just a meaningless word,

the “all” should be replaced with “rich, white men”,

and with “the police who shoot first and ask questions later.”


You wonder,

What about those black men gone by way of police brutality or vigilantism,

stripped from their families, their lives, their souls, buried

under the protestors who charge the streets in anger,

seeking justice for those black bodies

which have drifted away into sweet American oblivion?


Yes, it’s true son.

We should actually say,

“Liberty and Justice for all” *


* “except for those who drive (Philando Castile)

or walk home with a quite menacing hoodie (Trayvon Martin)

or play music just a decibel too loud (Jordan Davis),

and who do these things while black.”


As you grow older in this harsh world

You’ll realize more and more

that just because people claim they abide by certain values

doesn’t mean their tongues will match their actions.

Those tongues are saturated with broken promises.

So, the result is that you’ll have to educate yourself

on something I wish you didn’t have to learn.


But if you are to be a black man in America,

you must know how your nation operates,

for it is of the utmost importance to learn from the already deceased

how to talk to the police.

You’ll say “yes sir” and “no sir” to them

so you won’t have to say

“I can’t breathe”(Eric Garner)


“Why did you shoot me?”(Charles Kinsey)





This poem is about: 
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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