Louder Than a Bomb: Not Another Race Poem

June 14, 2012

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(Flickr/mictlan74)

Poets Ari Fulton, Daria Shelton, Jessica Supreme Disu, and Jeffery Lewis competed in the Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival in the Spring of 2005, representing Chicago Academy for Performing Arts. This was one of the first poems recorded as part of WBEZ's Louder Than a Bomb recording project.

Not suprisingly, race is a well-traveled topic in slam poetry. But in this piece, these four writers hope to encourage their peers not to be afraid to write or talk about issues other than oppression.

Yes I know of my ancestors
And I understand the pain
but why
are we still letting it hurt?

It happened.

Maybe if we stopped reminding ourselves
it wouldn't hurt so much


***

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.