Black words matter

There’s an article in the Baltimore Sun about Baltimore students who are expressing themselves through writing in light of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and recently Baltimore. A nonprofit group called Writers in Baltimore Schools has been working with students since 2008. The group hosted its 2nd #Blackwordsmatter write-in recently after the Baltimore unrest. The first one was held after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Students talk about the Freddie Gray case as well as what it means to be black and how they feel at odds with the police.


It was just five months ago that Afiya Ervin sat down at a gathering of young writers feeling out of place. Writing out her feelings was as foreign to her as the unrest that she saw in Ferguson, Mo., after a young black man was shot by a white police officer. So she called her poem “I’ve finally started writing.”

But on Sunday, as she sat down at a write-in to work through her feelings about the events that have rocked her hometown over the last week, the 16-year-old Baltimore City College High School student filled two pages in no time.

“When I turned on the TV, I almost forgot how bright Baltimore was

Because now the flames from cop cars and CVS blocked the way sun danced on the looters faces

The lights and cameras flashed too bright and stunned me from seeing the way the father was only taking toilet paper and milk or any other necessity his family needed

The helicopter was too loud and left a ringing in my ears

So that I can not hear the screams from every Baltimorean asking, crying, and begging for justice”

Ervin’s poem, “I almost forgot,” was one of several written by students at the #Blackwordsmatter write-in in Charles Village.

The nonprofit Writers in Baltimore Schools, which has been working with city students since 2008, hosted the event — the second of its kind — at the 2640 Space, formerly the St. John’s United Methodist Church, on St. Paul Street.

You can read the entire article at the Baltimore Sun.

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