A White Child’s Perspective

Is it possible to channel the perspectives of people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds or genders? Detroit high school student, Earnesha, uses her artistic license to channel what she believes to be the thoughts of a white child, not yet fully molded by society’s influence. We think she hit the nail right on the head, what do you think?

A lot of people ask me what I’d grow up to be
Truthfully I’d like for my black or Mexican friends to be just as free as me
All I know is what I’m taught at home
I didn’t know Mexicans were treated badly or that black children roam
I didn’t know I’m privileged because the skin I’m in
Why can’t I play with my black friend & treat him like kin?
Why are there only white children in my neighborhood?
My dad responds, “The negroes live across town as they should.”
So many questions with answers that I have yet to see,

I just wish my black friend could play with me.

-Earneasha Byars

More of her amazing work, along with that of her peers, can be found in Forbidden Tears: Stories, Poems & Essays of Trauma from the Imprisoned Voices of Unapologetic Black Youth. This book features the moving and deeply personal work of students led and inspired by Sirrita Darby, a Detroit high school teacher who has gone above and beyond to ensure that her students voices are heard, respected and considered beyond the confines of the classroom.

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