For National Poetry Month, the Marblehead Racial Justice Team invited local students to read aloud poems about social justice at a gathering on April 24.
“With grace and courage, our Marblehead students shared some of their favorite poems and reminded us how important it is to listen to and embrace all voices with empathy,” said MRJT member Lindsay Smith. “A desire to understand narratives that differ from our own is one of the first steps in tackling injustice.”
Damilola Olabisi read “The Black Family Pledge” by Maya Angelou, Niko Mahan read “Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Molly Blander read “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, Grace Wolverton read “Choices” by Nikkie Giovanni and Nina Johnson read her own original poem “If the World Stopped to Listen.”
This is an excerpt from “If the World Stopped to Listen.”
our generation is changing things
small steps — like snowflakes —
until we blanket the world in peace
There will be gender equality
when we feel safe
when we can speak
when we are seen
when we can unfurl our wings
and finally fly
if we all raise our voices
and start with the truth
we will rise
and lift others with us
and the world will hear our stories.
Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.