Lives matter to Blacks

Student Critic: Kamiyah O
School: Fiske
School Teacher: Joi Tillman
Performance: Poetry Festival
Teaching Artist: Kyla Norton


My favorite poem of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Festival was the three girls that had stage prompts with them. The prompts added a visual aspect to the poem that made it more engaging. Also what made me like it more was that it talked about life. One thing made me happy is how they smiled at us. The prompts made me smile because we need an education. We need to be safe. We need to matter to others.


The prompts told us what we need to do instead of doing bad things, like “be aware of your surroundings” because something might happen and you won’t even know it because you will be looking somewhere else. I will feel safe if I do all these things because if you don’t then you will not be safe. “Don’t follow no one be a leader,” was another. I feel that the three girls were brave because they didn’t stop, they just keep going. My favorite part is when they said, “get an education.” That made me stop playing and get my work done so I can get it over with. I noticed that they had on original clothes.

What made it stand out is when they put up a “Black Lives Mater” sign because these specfic group talked about our lives, and the other poems talked about their lives. A line that I remember is, “power to the people, Black Lives Matter.” What I think the line means is when an African American community campaigns against violence, and perceived systemic racism toward black people. ¬†They also protest against police killings of black people. The theme of the poem is to stay in school, do not talk to people you don’t know, don’t hang around people you don’t know, and learn your address and telephone number by heart so if something happens you can call someone.

Conclusion, The Takeaway:

My overall Feeling was that the preformance was awesome because they showed us what they wrote to show a poetry song or rap about us black lives .Or about there self. I felt sad because people talked about what’s going in their lives. I thought when they had put on the music we were going to jump up and dance, and I thought that those three girls were going to read something out notebook, but they started dancing.

One Reply to “Lives matter to Blacks”

  1. Hi there,

    This is a nice piece so far. I like how you described what the prompts said. I think that added a deeper connection to the poem outside of the actual poem itself.

    I do think that your introduction paragraph could be stronger to draw in the reader and you jump right into talking about the prompts. Before that I think you should talk a bit more about the context of the performance and what the poem was about. Where is the performance taking place? What school are the three girls from? Can you relate to the poem?

    I think by answering these questions you can add some length and more ideas.

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