This empowering poem about inspiring Black children was written by Useni Eugene Perkins in 1975. It has wrongly been attributed to Maya Angelou and Countee Cullen. I have attached a video of Brother Perkins reciting the poem himself at the bottom of this post. This poem is to empower young Black children. It is to give them a sense of belief in themselves despite a word that often does not show their beauty and brilliance. This poem is especially powerful when performed by a talented and confident young black child like PeTehn Raighn-Kem( the little girl reciting the poem in the video).

As per usual here is the performance of the poem followed by the lyrics

Hey Black Child

Hey Black Child
Do you know who you are
Who you really are
Do you know you can be
What you want to be
If you try to be
What you can be

Hey Black Child
Do you know where you are going
Where you’re really going
Do you know you can learn
What you want to learn
If you try to learn
What you can learn

Hey Black Child
Do you know you are strong
I mean really strong
Do you know you can do
What you want to do
If you try to do
What you can do

Hey Black Child
Be what you can be
Learn what you must learn
Do what you can do
And tomorrow your nation
Will be what you what it to be
By Useni Eugene Perkins

Here is the writer Useni Eugene Perkins performing his own poem

What would you rate this poem out of 10? We post a new poem every Wednesday so please follow our social media accounts.

If you like this check out the rest of our collection of  spoken word:

‘3Cs of Life; choice, chance and change- you must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything to ever change. ‘ Antoine Allen
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