My brother is black.

He likes dinosaurs,

And video games.

He taught me what a pangolin was.

My brother is black.

He is smart.

His teachers love him.

He talks to me about books.

My brother is black.

My mom cut his hair

Because she was afraid.

People say things about black boys

With long dreads.

My brother is black.

My mom taught him the proper way

To interact with the police.

Hands up.

Don’t run.




My brother is black.

If something happens,

They’ll say they were afraid.

Afraid of my brother,

Who’s favorite activity is fishing.

He’s never killed a fish.

Afraid of my brother,

Who hugs his mom

In front of his friends.

Afraid of my brother,

Who thinks that only married couples

Can have children.

Afraid of my brother,

Who rewinds the funny parts of the movie.

Afraid of my brother,

Who sings show tunes

At the top of his lungs.

All because

My brother is black.

Submitted: October 01, 2018

© Copyright 2023 A. Natalya Martin. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Joy Shaw

What a telling poem, perfect for the times we live in. I love that you wrote this. We need this.

Sun, November 18th, 2018 8:42pm


This is a powerful piece. It resonated with my mother, a Black woman with a Black son, so thank you. Congratulations on making it to the contest finals!

Sun, November 18th, 2018 9:51pm

r futrell

Sure a poem about the times we live in. Bravo!!! Congrats on the Finals.

Sun, November 18th, 2018 11:33pm

Kevin Broughton

Congratulations on making it to the finals :-)

Fri, November 23rd, 2018 11:43pm

Joy Shaw

Congrats on your win! So excited for you. This is a great poem!

Mon, November 26th, 2018 2:41am

Sue Harris

A superb poem. A poignant reflection of the times in which we live. Congratulations and very well done!

Wed, November 28th, 2018 8:09pm

Blackmar Lewis

Hmmmm.smh and snapping my fingers. Thank you

Wed, November 28th, 2018 10:18pm


It's heartwarming.

Fri, December 7th, 2018 12:10pm


Powerful. Thanks.

Sat, December 22nd, 2018 5:08pm

Lily Loren

Love this one, it made me feel like I was being scolded for doing bad to other people. Truly powerful. Congrats!

Tue, February 26th, 2019 1:45pm

Rosko Tzolov

I really liked it

Thu, August 15th, 2019 1:03am

Penny Scribe

Hi Natalya, I am impressed with your poem. It's powerful, revealing, and brave. I hope that some day your poem can be considered to be fiction.

Penny Scribe

Fri, January 17th, 2020 3:09am

Loren Schumacher

Of the three poems, this is by the far the most moving, the one that speaks to me in the sharpest clearest way. Proof that we can and should look beyond the color of one's skin. This verse could just as easily say, "my brother is gay."

Tue, August 25th, 2020 10:36pm


So sad and true. How can we have come so far and yet still be so far behind. It is time for real change. 2021 Will be the YEAR! Your poem is powerful!

Sun, October 18th, 2020 8:26pm

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