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An Endangered Species, The Young Black Gentleman

Updated: May 30, 2020

(You can listen to this poem in recorded form at

My son,

My young black gentleman

Is on the list of endangered species

If not in reality

In the minds of a society

That claims to believe in the ideal

Of the right of every citizen

And the pursuit of happiness

He’s a young man like any other

Growing in a unique environment

That fashions and challenges

Each individual differently

But yet because of his skin color

And continued societal misinformation

He is considered one of a kind, one of a group

Hooligans all!

One of the group of hooligans

A kind of person

Who has no genuine goals or dreams

Who has no feelings or concerns

A threat to this great society of ours

Those hooligans against us all!

Other young people

Are allowed to tell their stories

Which have shaped their lives and dreams

But where is the voice of my young black gentleman

Why is it muted, hidden in the media propaganda!

In his battle for survival

He has lived through many attempts to break his spirit

Often misunderstood

By those whom he expect to understand

For his prospects are so often restricted

By those ignorant of who he is

Those who have chosen to let propaganda and fear

Dictate their actions and reactions

Those for whom empathy and understanding

Are only ideas

Restricted to a select few

This is not a new trend

For, a hundred years or so ago

Men did not hesitate to capture and enslave his ancestors

Using their sweat and tears to build wealth

Wearing his ancestors pain like regal ornaments and cherished robes Today, he is often at risk of being captured and incarcerated

Detained, so they claim

For the safety of us all!

His dreams and hopes to be destroyed

His existence to become barely a statistic

But hope continues to flourish

In this jungle of hopelessness

In spite of it all

Little lights are kept burning

As the enlightened work tirelessly

To help others understand

That my young black gentleman has dreams

Like all young men the world over

His dreams may never be heard

But they nonetheless exist

The dream of a voice not negated by the color of his skin

The dream of a strength that is not a threat because of the color of his skin

The dream that a mistake does not become a crime

Because of the color of his skin

The dream of opportunity not associated with the color of his skin

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams

Colorless dreams!

No different from those of every other young man

Who has lived through the ages

Dreams of growing from childhood to manhood

Dreams of being helped to answer the questions,

Who am I?

What is it like to be a man?

What kind of man should I become?

Who are my role models, my examples?

Questions that cry for answers

From the village where he lives

The village where he should be nourished

The village where he should find himself

For, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’

So villagers,

Let us step up and raise up

Our young black gentleman

Let us help him voice his dreams

Let us help him live his dreams

Let us help him reach for greater heights

To build a better future

For himself, for his village, for his nation

For the world!

Copyright©4/2015 JSFontenelle

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