Social Justice Poetry

racism poems

So Far | A Social Justice Poem by Cattail Jester

When children still
Say “Not you,
You are not welcome”

We have not come so

When the President says:
“Go back, we don’t want you,
All our criminals are black”

We have not come so

When the proud hero of
Wakanda cannot make his
Way to the multiplex

To stand tall in the young
Dreams of boys and girls
Without hate and disdain

We have not come so

Fifty years ago still beats
Alive and well today.

Memories | A Social Justice Poem by Gil Hoy

Their homes, cone-shaped wooden
poles covered with buffalo hides.
Set up to break down quickly
to move to a safer place.

She sits inside of one of them,
adorning her dresses, her family’s
shirts, with beads and quills.
Watches over her children, skins
cuts and cooks the buffalo meat, pounds
clothes clean with smooth wet river rocks.

When she sees the blue cavalry coming,
she starts to run again.
Is that what made America great,
back then?

African families working hard
on hot cotton farms. Sunrise to sunset,
six days a week. Monotony broken only
by their daily beatings, by their singing
of sad soulful songs. Like factories in fields,
dependent solely upon the demands
of cotton and cloth.

You could buy a man for a song, back then.
Is that what made America great,
once again?

There are swastikas in our schools today,
gay pride flags being burned. Whitelash.
While those in government spew anti-Muslim
venom, rant of white power.
As the old new man at the top
solemnly swears, he’ll make America
great again.

They say the full moon was bigger and brighter
last year than it’s been in 69 years.
Than it’s been since Jackie Robinson
played his first big league baseball game.

The Center of Town | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

The hard-working
Son of a sharecropper,
He leaves the sweltering
Heat of his small shack
And walks down a
Dirt road toward the
Center of town,
Where all the
Tidy buildings beckon
And well-appointed citizens
Stroll through clean,
Tree-lined streets,
Nodding to each other,
And where he’s never
Felt quite welcome.
He remembers the stories
His parents told him
When he was a child.

Tears of My Ancestors | A Social Justice Poem by James Gregory Paul Sr.

a tear fell that day
from the coast of ivory
for the souls of juillet, jimi,
babet and bambara

and landed in washington dc

a tear fell that day
from a plantation in mississippi
for jude, whipped and smoked
cealy, leashed and yoked
phoebe, tarred and feathered
jupiter, penned and tortured

and landed in washington dc

a tear fell that day
from a tree in lynchburg
an unmarked grave in baton rouge
a baptist church in alabama
a bloody balcony in tennessee

and landed in washington dc

a tear fell that day
from the joy of my ancestors
for barack hussein obama

the first black president of the u.s.a.

Visit James at

This poem is featured in my recently published book – Kneeling for Justice – and independently reviewed at