Muhammad Deen

The little Rock 9 were not tormented for this to be black and brown children’s destiny. If we dream of a better future—one for equality—then we must integrate our schools and end educational inequity.
— Deen

The B41 bus comes down Flatbush
The wheels of the bus go round and round
The guard greets us with a smile, as we enter the school ground
Today we arrive early
To visit universities in DC

The next day we choose our electives
Wood work music or philosophy
We choose from a plethora of A. P's
Then sign up for after school activities
newspaper
Fencing
Or the school TV

We exit the building for lunch
Before we start
Our prep for the SAT
meet with college counselors
weekly
Our classes challenge us academically
Our high school encompassing new York cities diversity
Our student body reflective of all ethnicties


But wait
this isn't my reality
This is Johns life
The one who gets off the B41
before me
I stay on the bus for 5 more minutes.
Our school within the same geographical proximity
Starkly different because of our inequities
Didn't know a few bus stops and starts
Would make our schools
world's apart

John's school goes to other states to visit universities
We take trips to colleges out of state too
sitting in class looking at them through our broken laptop screens
John's school is diverse, like America
But our school isn't
like America's prison population

School to prison pipeline
Reinforced
Our teachers leave mid year
Like prison guard rotation
Metal detectors giving us radiation

John takes textbooks home
We share one in a table of four

Are we school segregations
Casualties
But the biggest tragedy
Is the fact my school and John's school looked identical

In our high school directory
We were both ranked A in all departments
We had the same extracurricular activities
Similar graduation and attendance rates
But because our directory lacked transparency

It didn't show the 300 point difference in the SAT
It didn't show my school’s college readiness percent was 3
It didn't update our schools out- of- date activities

And you see both me and John were able to
Attend universities
But his school prepared him for college
While mine hid me from reality
He excelled academically
While I in high school never took any Calc or chemistry
He knew how to study

While I struggled in English 120
Because in my school the books we read were elementary

10 years down the line
John is getting his Ph.D
While I'm struggling financially
Another college drop out 

Stuck with a double shift to pay back the loans



But maybe if we changed the reality of our schools
Thered be a change in my destiny
The wheels of the b41 go round and round
Kids cycle through failing schools round and round

The school to prison pipeline goes round and round

Next time you see a homeless person beside a man in a suit
Or you see a criminal next to a lawyer
People on opposite ends of our civilizations
Just imagine how different was there education

They say No child left behind but what about us who have been left behind
They say education is the same wherever you go
But if you plant a rose in the desert how do you expect it to grow
So no more
Complacency

The little Rock 9 were not tormented for this to be black and brown children's destiny
If we dream of a better future
One for equality
Then we must integrate our schools and end educational inequity 

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