09 Nov CSCS Community Spotlight: Kamari’s “I Am” Poem
When Kamari was in 2nd grade their class closed out the school year with a celebration poetry slam. Kids could choose to read a poem they have written, a poem from a book, or just to listen. Kamari wrote his poem and first performed it for the class’s Poetry Slam. Since then, he’s been invited to perform it (and has each time knocked it out of the park) as part of Portland’s live broadcast Juneteenth Celebration, to center a peaceful Black Live Matter protest held by his school, and from the steps of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, to open the June 13th End White Silence march and rally. Kamari’s only mission is to let other young black boys like him know they are beautiful the way they are, and that even though society does not always make that clear, him and every boy like him is ENOUGH.
Although Kamari enjoys activism he also enjoys sports, mostly football. He has been playing football since the age of six. He loves playing video games and having fun with his family.
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“I wrote this poem for all Black Boys like me to know that it is OK to love the skin you’re in.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.
You are Enough!
My poem is called “I Am”
I am History
I am Beautiful
I am Smart
I am Creative
I am Human
I am My Ancestors
My Black is Powerful!
I am Strong
I am Black Boy Magic
I am Black Excellence
I am Golden like the Sunset on the Sahara Desert
I am Kamari – a Black Boy in America!
And just in case you don’t know what BLACK BOY means, THIS is what it means:
Remember, Knowledge is Power!
We need more Love, not Hate!”
~ Kamari Rivers