Louder Than a Bomb: Neighborhood

August 1, 2012

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(Flickr/Nino.Modugno)

Poet Janeida Rivera represented Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School when she competed in the Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival in the Spring of 2005.

As we focus this week on the cost of segregation, this critique of Humboldt Park's gentrification exposes how a neighborhood's once dominant cultural identity can be vulnerable the more diverse that neighborhood becomes.


How is it that,
with all these abuelas and tias around here
there isn't one place inside
I can get a decent mixta or sazon seasoned chicken thigh?

Can I at least get a large Bustelo
Please hold the yeahhoo, anyhoo.
..."Bustelo" man, that sounds hip man,
where can I get some of that, is it French, man?
You can't poser - it's mine!
Leave it alone!


*mixta - mixture, a Puerto Rican meal consisting of rice, beans, and meat
*Bustelo - a Puerto Rican coffee brand


***

Each week, WBEZ features a poem from the Louder Than a Bomb collection that explores the issue of race. We offer the poems as part of Race: Out Loud, a collaborative production of WBEZ and vocalo, which aims to get us talking to each other about race. Louder Than A Bomb is Chicago’s teen poetry festival. It brings teens together across racial, gang, and socio-economic lines in a friendly competition that emphasizes self-expression and community via poetry, oral story-telling and hip-hop spoken word.  Each year, Chicago Public Media invites festival finalists to record their work.

Click here to hear nearly 200 Louder Than a Bomb finalist pieces recorded over the past eight years.

 

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