My angry black voice 

Clenching my jaw with shackles because the moment I open my mouth you say my English is wack. Can you speak African? No, I only speak black.

What is speaking black? Speaking black is making sure that when you’re speaking facts you gotta stay on track before they look at you shoot and attack.  


Harrit Tubman came from a shack. Dave helped our generation fight back. Don’t stop me now I’m ready to attack. 

My voice is only heard when truth has been stirred. There is music in my melanin, yeah I talk hella black. The memory of slave ships drowns my mind. Writing these words to help past the time. 

Slavery was abolished that’s what I heard on the news but that’s far from the truth because people like me still remain captive to our skin colour of which none of us can choose.  

If you’re black then you can fight. It shouldn’t be a privilege to have skin that is white. 

When a black man walks, when a black man talks, where a white man walks. Doesn’t fear follow near. Or so they say. Can you hear the whispers from ear to ear?” Black doesn’t crack, it just tears, Now tell me why am I living in fear?   

Wiping black mothers tears the same tears that keep graveyard grass green. I hate to see black on black crime. Come on bruv we’re all on the same team.  

They turn us against each other, they divide us, segregate us. Division is how they win but with unity they will crumble.  

When you hold those sacred sounds on your tongue do you feel less holy. The monkey sounds. 

Hahaha. There goes the monkey. Because to you for some weird reason my skin just looks so funky. Loud in laughter silent in our suffering. Black mothers cries. It was just an inhaler. Cap. That’s all lies. But yet you have no respect for her baby boy’s demise. No matter how hard she tries, no matter how thick her thighs or her lips, her son’s melanin still permits you to aim, fire and shoot. Oh shoot another innocent black man killed. Our execution is still stuck on a painful loop. Police sirens sound like amazing grace being sung at a funeral. 

How many more times will I have to hear one of my brother’s saying mumma i’m fine. Before I hear his scream collide with the sound of your bullet ricocheting through the air as you shoot. You’re just jealous of our roots. Roots that we don’t know because you kept my ancestors hanging from the necks with their toes stroking the ground. Don’t look away, you can’t turn back now.  

Our melanin is like a pirate’s sacred loot.  

A war on black boys. Walking down the street to hear the riots roar. No wonder as a child we grew up with toys shaped as guns. From the age of 6 I had learned my rights that was my definition of fun. Well can you blame us? 

Starting up all these laws and curfew to tame us.  

I want justice for Breonna Taylor, a young black woman shot dead in her own bed.  

You’ve gone from whipping holes in our backs to shooting bullets in our children.  

Racism ain’t gone my man it’s just hidden.  

I’m so tired of running, I’m out of breath. I’m so tired of being judged before you get to know me. I’m so tired of being at an unfair disadvantage. I’m so tired of being tired. I’m so tired of seeing my uncle fired from his job because you say that his nappy hair makes him look uninspired. All because you see black as undesired. But I am not tired of being black. My black voice may be savage at times but I wouldn’t change it for any privilege in the world. 

And that is the truth, the truth all y’all lack.  

I’m not tired of being black. 

About the Author  

My name is Jebril Umo. I am a 14 year old black male from South east London. I have always had a passion for writing and it is something that I am good at. Being a young black boy comes with many challenges. However, I always stay resilient to them and I never give up something my mother had taught me from when I was young.  

I would love to say thank you to everyone who made this possible, to everyone who supported me through my journey. Growing up I had a headteacher in my primary school and she would always say “when you are famous don’t forget to quote me,” I’m not quite famous yet but this is the closest I’ll get. So this goes out to, Mrs Maragh, Ms Hoad, Miss Hilton, Mrs Murray, but most importantly my Family.