Black Poetry: We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

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You guys like my poems. Let’s do something a little different. Random poets. Not me.

By Gwendolyn Brooks

We Real Cool


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.


From The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks, published by Harpers. © 1960 by Gwendolyn Brooks.


Gwendolyn Brooks

Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, who wrote more than twenty books of poetry in her lifetime, was the first black woman appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

Date Published: 1960-01-01

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This was written back in 1960. It’s been eighty years. How much has changed? Would it make sense if this was written now?

As much as things have changed, so much has stayed the same. “We/ Die soon.” That’s why we’re protesting. Why is it blacks as a group have a shorter life expectancy than whites?

life table
CDC Vital Stats 2017

What are you doing to change those stats? How will you help? Don’t just sit there and do nothing. Doing nothing is the same as accepting racism. If you accept racism, you are a racist.

We need anti racists. We need to fight. Black Lives Matter. They matter as much as the rest of the lives in the country. So why is it they have a five year age difference between them and whites? That shouldn’t be the case. These numbers should be the same across the board if our country was truly equal.


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