Whitney Stephenson

As a young black girl I have been taught to work 100 times as hard.
Whitney is a junior at Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem.

Whitney is a junior at Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem.

My identity is transferred through digits

As if a part of my genetics

My creativity manipulated through mathematics

Stress level higher than some of my
individuals

As I have to work harder

As a young black girl.


Where my teachers swear they
understand my struggle

Words such as "I went through the same
thing" spat at my face

When their understandings move at a
different pace than me

Way off track, As they hear me

But do not listen

We share different visions

When you believe I have it easy

Based on your high school experience and
decisions. 


But you aren't aware of the
privileged skin or gender you're in

So you won't understand until you've been in
mine

As my minority complex will have your views
redefined

As a young black girl.


I spend more time on my academic life

Neglecting care of my health and well being

Deprived from sleep

I struggle to survive

In this suffocation of long hours

AP classes required to

Rip off my cloak of invisibility

As interest in the arts and music keep it on.


My elementary school teacher once
asked "Do you still draw?"

My heart was sawed to pieces when my answer
was "No"

And she answered "Wow, you were great at
it"

But in art, I didn't get a chance to grow

Because little did she know

My school disregards the artistic culture

And plants the ideology that if it's not one
of the 5 subjects

Then it's not a part our identity sculpture.

 


I lose who I am in this school system

I no longer have a sense of Individuality as
I become more robot than human.


As a young black girl

I have been taught to work 100 times

As hard

Because chances in education aren't at equal
access

Compared to a student in upper Manhattan

Where one can put in work that is less than
mine

Yet get identical or more opportunities 

That's nowhere near the borderline of given
chances.


I stick to this method of eat drink sleep
school

But I'm tired and I'm hurting myself
mentally and emotionally

And there's no problem set solution for my
struggle internally.