April is National Poetry Month. As a former English teacher, I know that poetry is not everyone’s favorite genre. Students simply love it, or they hate it. I assert, that people who dislike poetry probably haven’t read the right poems yet.
There are poems by Black authors that I believe are must-read poems because they uplift us, enlighten us, and remind us that during our human experiences, we are not alone.
I have listed poems you should read by Black authors below. With any list, there are limitations. I am probably going to forget a poem that everyone loves. Forgive me in advance. Last, these are not listed in any particular order except how they popped into my mind.
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
“Harlem” by Langston Hughes
“We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” written by James Weldon Johnson and music composed by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson
“If We Must Die” by Claude McKay
“Amen” by James Baldwin
“A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde
“Speak Truth to the People” by Mari Evans
“In This Place (An American Lyric)” by Amanda Gorman
“love letter to the east side” by Alyssa Gaines
If you would like to listen to poetry, consider going to the event Liberation Now! Narrative of Our History – Historical and Current Truth Told by Us, which will take place on Friday, April 14 at Martin University at 2186 N. Sherman Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46218, from 6-8 p.m. Contact General Chair Florench Myers email@example.com & Synergy of Kafe’ Kuumba at 317-667-5530 with any questions about this event.
Contact Indy Kids Winning Reporter Educator Barnes at 317-721-2181 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & TikTok @educatorbarnes.
Educator Barnes’ work is supported through a partnership between Indy Kids Winning and the Indianapolis Recorder. Visit indykidswinning.com to learn more.