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For Black Boys: 'You Are Beautiful'

caption: Poet Leija Farr at a RadioActive workshop
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Poet Leija Farr at a RadioActive workshop
KUOW Photo / RadioActive Staff

“Black boys bleed every month.”

Those words came to Leija Farr as she saw her dad, enraged, watching the news of another police shooting of a black man.

Farr wrote the poem “For Black Boys” in response to this moment, and it won her the title of Seattle’s first youth poet laureate.

Her work is an ode to black men and boys. In this segment, Farr reads her powerful poem and interviews black men in her life about how they practice loving themselves.

Her father, Jamal Farr, told her, love is a way "to help make ourselves stronger, to help make ourselves be prepared for anything that happens, and to know that you're not out here by yourself."

In a place that will never understand you are amazing, in a place that will put fire to you then say you are callous, they will burn you then say you are reckless, some mothers won’t tell you because they think it is feminine and they want you to prepare for a battlefield your whole life but I tell you, you are beautiful, you are grand, you are too permanent to be unloved. – 'For Black Boys'

Click on the audio button to hear the whole poem and interviews.

RadioActive Youth Media is KUOW's program for youth age 16-20ish. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

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