One City One Story 2017 Writing Contest

3rd place

Middle School category

Ian Macklin Sims

Grade 7, Blair Middle School

“Little Black Me: From Africa to America”

Summary:  A true poem written from the perspective of a young black male who feels as though he is left unappreciated.


Little black me, little black me,

In a world where my people are not free,

Where I need just a closer walk with Thee,

Little black me, little black me.
Funny black me, funny black me,

What’s so funny ‘bout little black me?

Living up to your ruthless expectations,

To then have to deal with your cruel confrontations.
Funny black me, funny black me,

You laugh as if something’s funny about little black me,

You stare, then laugh, then repeat. What a feat.

I have a slight glimpse now of what you think is funny.


Ugly black me, ugly black me,

What an ugly, bananna-lovin- monkey

What a disturbing sight to see,

That ugly black me.
The ugly black me that all of you see,

Whom you never appreciate… what a strong word, huh?

Well, see, you “appreciated” us enough to come all the way to Africa, the motherland of Earth, gather us up, scare us by terror, throw us on boats in which we could not move, fed us nothing, gave us nothing, let us die in the arms of our dead brothers and sisters, threw us into the arms of the white man who threw us into the arms of enslavement until Abraham Lincoln said THAT’S ENOUGH over 250 years later with the help of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner, and Soujurner Truth, then said “Wait, we don’t want them here in ‘our’ America,” which everyone knows in their dear heart that it was built by the bare hands of BLACK men and women, blacks who were then segregated for 72 years, “let free,” then who were put back on the slaveship going to either prison or the cemetery, either life at Harvard or life gets Harder, either fairly well or on welfare, enjoying the shade of tall trees and before we know it, we are hanging from them.
Ugly black me gets his scars from all that he’s been through,

So don’t call me ugly, call me human,

I know that my level of education surprises you,

I don’t think you know that your little miseducation scheme, it didn’t


Not many people can relate to my experiences.

Y’all just got little love taps.

We got fatal beatings.

A whipping sentence was a death sentence.

Sentenced to death while yearning for freedom, going to the extreme

limits to get it.

Yeah, I may be little, I may be funny…

But I know good and well God makes no mistakes.

To view the list of the contest winners:  OCOS 2017 The Traveler Contest Winners

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