Olympic Swimmer Simone Manuel. Photo by NBC Universal Media/LLC

By Zakkiyya Anderson • 


Teach our Black children to swim


Take them to the ocean and show them life has no bounds


Teach Black children to read and to explore more than the outside of their broken door


Give them tangible hope


Dreams that aren’t just riddled in fables


Show them they are able


Give them stethoscopes and hammers and swimming pools and tennis courts and
chemistry sets


Let them see that we aren’t finished yet


Teach Black children their power


That every time they take a new breath they have defeated every odd that told them they


weren’t meant to be Gods


Give Black children the truth


That they are 1 in a million descendants of the original involuntary immigrants


Give them their smiles back


If they ever even had them


Black joy locked up in dirt roads for football fields and broken Crack rocks as crystal
glass


The bottom looks so beautiful when it’s all you’ve ever had


Give us our streets back


We don’t need novelty sock shops in the hood, we need books that aren’t 15 years old


and playgrounds that aren’t falling apart


We need trash cans on our streets and community gardens by our homes


Teach Black children to swim.


And let them soar with the promise of a tomorrow


Teach Black children to fly


Zakkiyya Anderson is an Urban Affairs Student at Norfolk State University. DC Born, Ga Bred. She is also a Black woman writer and freedom thinker who has been writing since she was old enough to put a pen to paper. Her dream is liberation for Black people.

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