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"Racism pledges allegiance to a flag with 50 bullet holes for stars and prison bars for stripes."

Briana L 8th Grade

news &  events

Remote Poetry Curriculum For Teachers

Want easy-to-complete poetry lessons in your remote class? 4th - 8th grade lessons areavailable now!

More info on Units + Try this lesson out today +

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Giving Tuesday Fundraiser

Help support students, local performing artists, and social change.

donate today +

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Screen Slam Submissions Open

Write a poem, film it, and send it in!

This is a competition open to 4th - 12th grade students Send Poems

Submit a poem between now and Dec 13th +   More info & Rules +

In our efforts to respond to the impact that COVID-19 has had on under-served communities, Bay Area Creative has begun The Staff of Life project with the objective of distributing packets of poems written by our students and staff to organizations like

White Pony Express that are providing clothing and food during these difficult times. We are delivering 100 packets of poems per month to any interested org doing its part on the front lines. We believe that in times like this poetry fills a special need to connect us to the core experiences of humanity - to remind us that we are not alone in this struggle.





For the third year in a row Bay Area Creative is providing service at Upward Bound UC Berkeley through our flagship program SPARC poetry. Students who participate in Upward Bound have worked as hard as can be imagined to earn a spot in the Upward Bound college preparatory program which serves first generation college applicants. Our poetry workshops are guided by the students’ writing in order to be as culturally relevant as possible. Each year these courageous young writers leap beyond their comfort zones in order to expand and grow as scholars, writers and leaders of their generation. This year due to closures we are leading these workshops via zoom and are excited to push this human connective art form into the digital world.


America

By: Anonymous Upward Bound Student


America is the land that many fled to

The land that many fought for

America’s that one girl that everyone knows

With her loud and joyous laughs and happy celebrations


She doesn’t know who she is

She’s the epitome of freedom


America isn’t who people think she is

America isn’t free


Hell, America is hardly ever herself

America’s not that innocent girl

America is what others make her out to be


But America is made of land and people that were robbed, stolen, and killed.

And more, but I dare not to say it out loud,

For the one nation,

That was indivisible

It will always be divided

by the opinions of the nation


Her past has been paved with the blood of many innocent victims

But America doesn’t want to be that girl that everybody hates

Because of her past

So, she put her mask on

And acts as if nothing has happened

As if her scars are just as invisible as the justice she tries to give for all

Because what does all mean if America can’t even speak for herself?


With her “family” acting as dictators to her life


Don’t do this,

Don’t ignore her

Make friends with her, and especially do speak for those people

Because if she does, she’ll know and be reminded of the people that have paved way for her life

People that have worked so hard to only achieve nothing.


For those people


Bay Area Creative & SPARC Poetry stand with the Black community to hold up the voices of struggle, protest, and unity despite the systemically racist systems that try to silence Black narratives.


In the next two weeks we will be holding an all-Black spoken word showcase where coaches, students, alumni, and staff will perform to raise money for policy change, protester bailouts, and transformative justice programs.


In response to

  • the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and hundreds like them both on and off camera.

  • a police system that shamelessly violates the human rights of African Americans

  • a justice system that does not hold trained officers accountable for their actions

  • a prison system that profits off of the free labor of minorities in post-slavery America


We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.


“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society.” - Martin Luther King Jr


As an education organization we will be intentional in our mission to lift black leaders into positions of power. We will continue to place local black poets into schools to mentor our black students. We will always create culturally relevant curriculum, and we will keep striving to make spaces for young voices to challenge today’s norms until the future is without inequity.


www.bayareacreative.org




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