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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Read Black Poetry During National Poetry Month

Educator Barnes is an educator and education reporter. She attended school in Indianapolis, K-12, and is a graduate of Purdue University (B.S.) and IUPUI (M.S.). In addition to her work as an educator, she navigates the education system as a parent of identical twin boys.

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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 florencemyersmcswine@gmail.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 shawntab@indyrecorder.com. 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.

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