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 Darius Jackson of FourPoets, OneMic. It's called "I'm Ashamed."
I said I’m ashamed,
Because just last week
This white kid asked me
Why is Black people always mad?
He said, why is Black people always angry?
He said, I understand your ancestry history, but
That just don’t reflect today’s society.
Slavery is done.
I said nawl dawg, slavery not done
Master just exchanged his whip for a badge and a gun
Now imagine if I run.
It would probably be a bloody scene
Because my skin too black and my words too complex
Complex thoughts I got lost searching for revenge
It was so many days I was all alone in my room with
Nothing left but faith.
Praying to God that he forgive me for my latest mistakes
Promising I won’t sin again,
Until my reality set in
Saying I won’t sin is like committing another sin.
I’m getting sick and tired of these tragedies, inequalities
Police brutalities, they claiming that they doing this for justice.
But the truth is the only people who really care about Black folks is,
In God we trust.
No matter how many times I go to church,
You still see me as a walking dead man on my way to hell.
I went to college instead.
My mama was proud when I got my first degree.
Hey officer, was yo mama proud
When you got yo first degree ….
Darius Jackson is the program assistant at the Center for Latino Studies, College of Education and Center for Black Studies instructor, at Northern Illinois University. He was born and raised in Harvey, Illinois. Jackson comes from a diverse low-income culture that shapes his identity and allows him to have a unique personality within the classroom. Jackson has a bachelor's degree in English and a master’s degree in Foundations of Education, both from NIU. He is finishing up his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a certificate of Foundations of Education and Policy Studies, also from NIU.
Jackson has taught intermediate piano lessons to elementary school students, reading enhancement, Foundations of Education and Black Studies courses at the university level. He’s also worked with high school students for afterschool male mentoring programs. Notably, Jackson designed and taught the first Black spoken word performance course at NIU.
Jackson is one of the founders, current treasurer and adviser of the spoken word performance and poetry organization, Four Poets, One Mic. The organization was founded in March 2018. The purpose of the group is to provide poets an opportunity to voice their social justice concerns through spoken word performances.
- 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.