by Marc Williams

Nonfiction, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021

            Rugged, hard and mean. Concerned, worried and confused. I have been manipulated controled and stereotyped, often judged for my actions but ain’t I a person?

Labeled and frowned upon for actions of those that came before me. Tossed to the wayside based on my appearance but ain’t I a person?

I am curious, inquisitive, worried and confused, often scoffed at when I expect a chance or a equal share, ain’t I a person?

Punished and condemed for exploits that were committed in a time of need and hunger. When I have depended on survival instincts, doing what the generations before me have done, and for that I am wrong? ain’t I a person?

I only want to achieve the American dream. Picket fences, children and a dog. ain’t I a person?

Why am I wrong for reaching for the stars wanting a house and cars? I am often reminded of morality, right and wrong. But morality is a great song that a person sings when he or she has never been hungry.

I mean yes you can walk the road of nobility but no one will remember you were a nobel person only that of what you have gained, and I am catagorized for using the method that my environment has used for generations to gain that wich I am expected to have?

ain’t I a person?

so yes I have traveled down roads that are more paved just like those who rode a train to freedom that tracks were laid by the likes of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth and for this I am persecuted?

ain’t I a person?

I sweat, bleed, and dream, laugh and cry all the same so excuse me because yes, I am a person!