A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“Ode to King,” by Qes McCord

I have a dream-
I have a dream that little black boys and girls will grow up to see their beauty.

That they will understand that black is beautiful-
That Black is not aggressive, and Black is not violent-
black is not uneducated nor a hoodrat-
black is not lazy or dirty-
and black sure as hell aint “just another statistic”.

Black is excellence
Black is power
Black is like the tallest tree with the deepest roots
Black is love, the realest love
Black is emotion.
Black is fighting,
and fighting,
and continued fighting until you see the change you know our ancestors wanted.

I say this because we were not taught to love our Blackness.
we were not told that we can be successful outside of mics and basketballs.
we were expected to listen to and obey what the white man said,
then take his dollar so we can get shunned for buying a new pair of shoes
instead of tryna fit into his extremely tight white collar.
we were told to keep our voices down because we don’t wanna make
them uncomfortable.
but we are tired of walking on the eggshells others created.

57 years ago you were teachin us
we aren’t beautiful because of our blackness.
11 years ago you were teachin us
we aren’t beautiful because of our Blackness.
3 years ago you were teachin us
we aren’t beautiful bc of our blackness.

so whether or not you’re comfortable.
we will continue to be loud.
we will continue to say their names
teach our history.
and we will continue to tell little Black boys and girls that
their Blackness is beautiful.



This poem was written by Qes McCord, as a 2023-24 Youth Poetry Fellow. Performed at the Seattle Arts & Lectures Literary Arts series event with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah on June 4, 2024 at Town Hall Seattle.

Posted in Student WritingWriters in the SchoolsYouth Poet LaureateYouth Programs2023/24 Season