“The Trendsetters”

By Shariah Marsden

I am a vehement Black girl

My life is built on education and pyrotechnic energy

I am ethereal

you could say elysian

I am told that I am “different”

Good I want to be different

I need to be

If I remind you of someone I want to be somebody influential

synonym: important

I am the product of many, many years of imprisonment and slavery

I was forced to grow up faster than others due to the color of my skin

And the dangers that accompany it

It is dangerous

The darkness of my skin

The way my features are significantly different

We are a gem that they uncivilized eye seeks to catch and destroy

But they will never succeed

I carry the weight of my ancestors on my shoulder

I am protected by their divine spirits

My soul carries the anger they wished they could express

Yes, I represent Men and Women who fought the struggles of racial oppression and slavery

But I represent a hidden side as well

I represent Women and Men who are what people wish they could be

Who are Exotic, Mysterious, Beautiful, Strong

We are not to be played with

We are influential

We are the blueprint

We are what you could call

The trendsetters

Shariah Marsden is a student at Bard High School Early College Newark. Hailing from the West Side section of the city, she has always loved to read and write. Having her poetry be seen by the world is one of her dreams.

Featured image by Henri Antikainen