Youth Voices: Mahnoor's Powerful Poem on Black Lives Matter

My skin colour should not be your urge to kill.
My skin colour is my way of life.
It should not be your reason for my murder.
My hair type should not be the reason for my exclusion.
Humans are continuously being rejected from education due to their their culture.
My lifestyle is not your temporary trend.
You breathe my culture but your body rejects my cries for help,
As my brothers and sisters are being innocently slaughtered like animals.
Yet they haven't got a single crime to their name.
I'm afraid to step out my house.
I say every goodbye like its my last.
Because I never know if i'll come home.
My skin colour chases me into the dark,
and leaves me to soak in my insecurities.
Wishing I was just a normal member of society.
Praying for equality in a cruel world.
Injustice clouds over my life as I beg and plead, "I'm innocent!",
But they never seem to listen,
Because my ethnicity is all they look at.
I have a right to freedom of speech,
But I am never given the opportunity to voice my problems in this system,
As I am categorised with words like unimportant, ghetto, violent and hurtful racial slurs.
The prime minister of my country refers to my religious clothing as a "letterbox",
And black people as "piccaninnies",
The reality is we were never equal.
We are taught, "White is power, white is strength, white is superior".
It's imprinted in our brains that people of colour do not have the same experiences in life...
As they say:
"Black is guilty until proven innocent"

This poem was written by Mahnoor, 13 years old from Nelson in Burnley after one of our Virtual School sessions focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement.

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