This poem by a 10th grade Somali-American Muslim student illustrates a latent point
Earlier this school year a 10th grade student shared a poem she wrote with me and she gave me permission to put it on this website. The poem shows her grappling with her multiple identities as a Muslim Somali-American female in the USA. It is apparent that she has some sense of social justice themes to articulate when it comes to being Black and race in general (as she has learned this through common liberal narratives and the public education system as well). But it is an illuminating point to see what she articulates about being "specifically Muslim" (which I have emboldened below) and gets to the heart of the matter of these students identity conflicts and the need for the educators and all adults in their lives to know more about them.
They say America is “Great & Diversified”
but little do they know it’s not true.
When you’re fellow brothers and & sisters are
shot & killed because of their race, then
you’ll know why too.
Being Muslim & Black isn’t really the
reality you think, it really unfair.
Felling like you’re judged every single day
& feeling like you don’t belong here now
that’s a despair.
In this country there’s only one moto “Live
happy & free!”
But the thought of not feeling both for
most of us, I say I disagree.
In this country, the less fortunate is
not cared for, for that I am upset.
Do they have the same rights as the rich?
When it comes to this country. I surely
can make a bet.
Specifically for us Muslims, we tend to stay
Everyday it’s the same thing
we are “dangerous” we are “violent”
For I pray for unity like the flowers in
How can we stand here & dare not say none?
with you people, it’s just straight up hate
You wold rather grab our heads & aim it
with a gun & not dare look at us in the
If a white man goes on a killing spree
you would say, “Oh he was just sick.”
But when a black muslim man goes gun
blazing, “Oh no! He’s a terrorist!”
This is only part of what we go through
on a daily basis everyday.
If we stay silent, we’re “punks” and if
we say something we’re crazy
why can’t we have a say?
It’s hard to feel like you’re worth a chance
in this country
How long do we have to fight?!
In this nation, it’s about unity
like stars at night.
Why can’t we love on another’s history?
Is it too much to ask?
Is it hard to respect one’s ethnicity?
It’s just one simple task.
So now you know, we are not great or
For that I’m sure I explained
We are more like separated & classified
But hopefully we all change.
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