Last Monday

by Jamal Parker


Last Monday,
my class had a discussion on political correctness

My white professor let nigger ease out her teeth
Like she’s chewed on the word before

Last Tuesday, I sat in on a seminar,
And talked about Souls of Black Folk,

My white peers tried to dissect why they felt the heat of black anger
Like my ancestors didn’t feel the compromise of fire

My white peers wondered why there couldn’t be a middle ground
Like my brothers and I aren’t soon to be buried there

My white peers asked why can’t they use the n word
Meanwhile all the black students are quiet
Anchored in the bottoms of our seats
Submerged in the content of slurs

In this moment I wanted to protest with my fists once more
Imprint Black Power on the cheek of my classmate
I wanted to chant shut this shit down
To drown out the white noise with the soundwave of a rally cry

College is where I discovered,
Being an activist in a classroom setting
Is actually holding my mouth quiet

Author Bio: Jamal Parker is a Sophomore at Temple University and is an African-American Studies Major. He enjoys writing poetry, watching superhero films, and scrolling through Black Twitter. He is a nerd at heart, yet somehow is terrible at math.