“The Two Americas” by WITS Student Thewdros Shibeshi
May 4, 2022
For anyone who has been paying attention,
There are indeed two Americas:
There’s an America that’s a world of white racial resentment
Where the Confederate flag proudly flies,
Where monuments to traitors are to be revered,
Where protesting racial injustice is an intolerable act of aggression,
Where the words “Black Lives Matter” are considered words of hate.
And there is what I like to think of as the real America,
A deeply flawed country
Starting to come to grips with the wages of racism,
Hatred and racial division,
A too-violent police culture,
A wealth gap,
An education gap,
A health insurance gap.
A country that believes in its better angels
A country that knows it can do better!
Thewdros Shibeshi wrote this poem while a student at Franklin High School with WITS Writer-in-Residence Naa Akua. Thewdros read this poem to open our Women You Need to Know (WYNK) Series event with Natalie Baszile on May 4, 2022.