If You Give a Black Boy a Dollar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 18, 2018

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Submitted: August 18, 2018



If you give a Black boy a dollar,

He’s going to want to buy something.

He’ll think of hot wheels and video games,

New kicks and a bike to do tricks with.

His wish list is limitless,

But he’ll do what he should do,

And he’ll settle for food.


If you let a Black boy shop for food,

He’s going to want to eat,

I mean really eat.

He’ll think of fried chicken and collard greens,

Mama’s mac and cheese,

Granddad’s black eyed peas,

Granny’s banana pudding.

The hunger inside of him

Will grow tenfold,

And even though he knows

All that would feed his soul,

He can’t afford all that

So he’ll settle for McDonalds.


If you let a Black boy eat,

He’s going to want to drink.

He’ll imagine Kool-aid and iced tea,

Capri suns and lemonade.

If it’s a special day,

Grape soda.

His thirst will make his mouth dry,

His tongue twisting itself

In a desperate rain dance

Waiting for a drop.

So he’ll settle for water,

And pray it’s clean this time.


If you let a Black boy drink,

He’s going to want to live.

He’ll imagine a life.

He’ll see himself playing ball,

Winning rings and trophies,

Leaving a legacy.

He’ll see himself designing skyscrapers,

Creating a cloud’s rival,

Reaching for the sun.

He’ll see himself in space,

Stepping on planets

And discovering the universe.

He’ll see himself paint a galaxy,

On a cotton canvas

That captures magnificence.

He’ll see his future.

He’s going to want to live.

But he’ll settle for a dollar,

Because that’s all 

You were willing to give.

© Copyright 2018 The Negro Artist. All rights reserved.