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  • Highwater Ell

photo for my kids - BLM protest response

I had never been to a protest before the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year. My emotions were so stoked that I couldn't just sit at home and not be there to demonstrate over something so important.

I thought to myself "what would I say to my children when they look back at all of this?" and that it would be unacceptable for me to say I didn't try to help change their future.

While at the protest I saw a placard quote attributed to a Percelle A. saying "Here so my future kids don't have to be"

I took a photo with this placard as it summed up the main reason I was there. When I got home my emotions were still so raw and the first two lines wrote themselves in my head so I grabbed my notepad to vent, and the poem you are about to read was created.

Photo for my kids

At the protest took a photo for my kids

and although it’s been 400 years it only just begins

hoping down the line I’ll show them and it’s something they won’t get

saying “daddy

why did people care about the colour of your skin”

It’s a question that perplexes me as much as it would them

Yet somehow I’ve created reasons all within my head

I guess it’s all the media and books from where it stems

Through a white tinted lens that’s depicting how we’re bred

I was 10 when when I realised that my normal wasn’t kosher

I had canerow which affiliated children with gang culture

I had never broke a law I just finished watching Arthur

But somehow I don’t get a chance for vindication after

life goes on

and now conscious that to fit in you had better change

or else become a victim of a type that you perpetuate

I’m violent and intimidating, “sorry, let me get the gate”

my manners don’t mean anything if one day I’m enraged

let that sink in

I always try to lead by example,

showing with my actions I am NOT trying to harm you

one misstep could tarnish all the people who might look like me

even if it’s karma and I’m standing for my dignity

I didn’t see, that my view self view was fractured

trying not to live up to the world’s sense of blackness

now I know it isn’t me, the world’s a little backwards

and that kids, is written in the photo that was captured


About the author: Highwater Ell is a London born, poet, musician and creative. Developing a love for poetry by the age of nine and a true passion during secondary school, Ell found expression through creative writing.

You can find a spoken word delivery of 'photo for my kids' on Ell's IG by clicking here

Learn more about Ell on his website here

Check out Ell's music by clicking here

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