Poetically Yours - Ep. 1 - 'Minneapolis Is Burning'

Aug 12, 2020

Welcome to Poetically Yours, where you'll hear the voices of Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This week features  Christopher Sims of Rockford. This poem is called, "Minneapolis Is Burning."

Minneapolis Is Burning

Minneapolis is burning.

For justice, we Black

people are yearning.

The hate here in the US,

we're confronting,

discerning. I hope you

won’t stop learning

why Minneapolis

is burning.

Heads are turning,

the smoke is increasing,

the pain is seething

start believing that

Minneapolis is burning!

Minneapolis is on fire.

The activists won’t retire.

The situation is dire. The

events that transpired

took a man’s life, Minneapolis

is burning tonight.

The people are meeting,

planning, marching, targeting

the nonstop injustice

in the city; Minneapolis

is burning because of endemic


The citizens are soldiers

in an army against racism;

just like their forefathers

and foremothers, they’ll

fight back at

the system!

Can’t you feel the heat?!

Can’t you see the flames?!

They’re doing it in George

Floyd’s name!

Let the flames burn; let

the buildings fall; let racist

practices dissolve into the

blazing infernos

Hate has to go!

No justice no peace.

No justice no peace.

Know justice know peace.

Know justice know peace.

Are you ready

to stand near

the heat

the heat

the heat

Rightfully so, the people,

the soldiers, the fighters

are earning camera time

Minneapolis is burning,

some might think it’s

about time! It’s about time!

It’s about time!

We’re tired of losing lives,

why do we have to continue

to die? To die? To die?

To all Black people

and our accomplices,

this is concerning

Burning, burning, burning

Minneapolis is burning,

burning, burning.

Christopher Sims
Credit Provided by Christopher Sims

Human rights activist and poet, Christopher D. Sims, was born and raised on the west side of Rockford, Illinois. He represents the art of writing, performing, and recording spoken word poetry.

Sims is a SoundCloud Hero, a northern Illinois Slam Poetry Champion and a 2019 fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute. Sims has also spoken on the floor of the United Nations in New York City.

Sims is internationally known and has performed in Toronto, Ontario and many cities across the United States. 

When Sims is not informing and entertaining the world as a wordsmith and arts educator, he is busy building community, networking and making sure his many nieces and nephews hear from him or see his face. Sims is a devoted uncle and mentor.

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.