Document Type

Creative Writing

Publication Date



African American Studies | African Languages and Societies | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Creative Writing | Education | Educational Sociology | Ethnic Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Multicultural Psychology | Poetry | Politics and Social Change | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology | Sociology of Culture

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Education is a spoken word poem that explores many aspects of the African American struggle within (self-knowledge). It starts with an African American college student who is disappointed with the lack of courses about her culture. Most curricula in the United States tend to be from a Eurocentric perspective, leaving out a multitude of information about people of color. All groups of people of color have unique experiences, however, African Americans have the most known (or perhaps I should say, unknown) history. The standard explanation of their existence is often limited to the start of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, when African were captured and taken to the Americas. History books from kindergarten to twelfth grade do not seem to go any further than that – slavery. In fact, with the lack of studies on African history prior to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the systematic methods to conceal the truth, there are not many college-level books that cover African history either.

Education aims to uplift and educate the African American community. Throughout the poem, the student makes connections from information she learned from Anatomy and from outside readings. There are also spiritual connections from African culture that has been reflected upon. It also speaks on the struggles from the past and present of being put down because of one’s race. It calls upon reflections of Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, and ancestors that were enslaved, freed, and living prior to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Overall, self-knowledge is one of the most important things to have. African Americans have been hurt spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and often times, physically. Not knowing one’s own culture immediately gravitates one to admire others and could potentially perpetuate self-hate. The information on one’s culture should be readily available throughout the education system and commonly known.


Winner, Creative Poem, 2015

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.