Social Justice Poetry

discrimination poems

Abyss of Ruins | A Social Justice Poem by Oladimeji Luqman (Sanguine)

I felt a ring of yells
Rolling elegiacally in my head,
Itching my palms and soles;
I want to fly away.
I felt the cadence gather on my forehead
Each time the tempo rises,
And my sweat strolls again to my chin,
And I want to stop it, fly away;
From the heat of depression that trammel
My gait from gaiety.
But each time I roll my body out of my head
To steal into vacancy,
I roll instead into the abyss of ruins.
I get stuck in the debris of discrimination
Derived from diverse distinctions.
And my body reeks of foul oppressions therein.
The abyss runs deeper.
Dug by the filthy hands of painful retrospect;
The scenes of horror painted with the colours of our skins.
And I’m pricked by what I wear under these clothes;
I’m black, even in tongue.
I feel a ring of yells still;
Races racing into this abyss,
Causing the world yet another death.
And I want to fly away. Away!

It’s Not Over | A Social Justice Poem by Sarena Tien


I embody nearly everything
the red puzzle pieces
of our country
stand against.

I sobbed until I couldn’t breathe.

But my friends
ignited a storm,
sympathy rain
and solidarity wind.

Hope lives on
in the minorities
the fighters
the dreamers.

We will not be silenced.

This is our fight,
America’s fight,
the world’s fight.
And we won’t back down.

A Problem with Rudy | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

Rudy in his wheelchair gets around pretty good. He has a good job and transportation via a special van. He shops at local stores and
everyone is nice except at the drug store where the clerk seems to
have a problem with Rudy.

Rudy has noticed the clerk is always nice to people ahead of him in
the check-out line. Rudy may be paralyzed from the waist down but he isn’t dumb. Trying to figure out what the clerk’s problem is, Rudy has watched him carefully over several visits. He has come to the conclusion that the clerk has a problem with disabled people. That’s not an uncommon problem and it can result from various reasons. But Rudy figures that’s why the clerk treats him rudely and why he has to wait so long to be checked out.

At first, Rudy didn’t know what to do but then an idea struck one
morning while he was getting into his chair. Rudy had to go to the
drug store that day and would have to deal with the clerk again. But this time he went with a small box on his lap that had a side panel. When it was his turn finally to be checked out, Rudy opened the side panel and a small non-venomous snake slipped out of the box and curled up on Rudy’s lap.

The clerk jumped at the sight of the snake, hit the emergency button under the counter, and checked Rudy out quickly. Rudy appreciated that. And the snake never moved.

When the cops pulled up to ask Rudy about the snake, he showed them his zoo I.D. card. It showed that he worked at the city zoo as chief herpetologist. Rudy explained he was taking the snake back to the zoo after overnight observation. He said the snake had gotten out of the box while he was waiting in the check-out line. True to a point. Rudy never mentioned that he had opened the panel in the box to let the snake out to meet the clerk.

The cops called the zoo and the zoo verified the story and said a van was on the way to pick Rudy up. He was a valued employee. The cops let Rudy go.

Following this incident, Rudy has never had to wait a long time in the drug store again. The clerk is always nice, even nicer when Rudy has the box in his lap. It’s usually empty but how would the clerk know.

Some day Rudy hopes to talk to him about his problem with disabled
people. Rudy plans to tell him disabled people don’t bite.

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Inquisitive Mind | A Social Justice Poem by Julia Hones

Why do we talk about women’s rights?
When shall we consider them human rights?

Why do we put up with a man
who calls a woman “disgusting”
when she wants to extract from her body
the precious fluid that helps her baby think and thrive?

Albert Einstein said we should never stop asking questions,
but if he had been a woman,
her statement might have been trashed.

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