Black Privilege

third year aysha jerald

photo by avni ahuja

photo by avni ahuja

To my white friend who asked me about my “Black Privilege”

It’s true

That affirmative action helped me sneak into this school

I’m able to walk confidently down the halls

Because I know that my 3.8 GPA and 30 ACT score had nothing to do with it

I’m so privileged

To know that the employment offices are practically begging me to apply

So that they can plaster my face on their website

And claim diversity


Is just a figment of my imagination

A fear yet to take shape

Because my people and I know how to revolutionize each day.

All we need is a gunshot, a hashtag, and a protest

For things to go our way.

I really can’t complain.

For I live in world that has treated me just and fair

Streamlined with envy, checkered with care

Because here,

People like me have to keep our hands at ten and two

even if a siren is just passing by

make sure the officer knows we go to a privileged White Man’s University

make sure he realizes why

Work innocence into our tones

Turn our strength down a notch

We’re lucky

We’re blessed

We’re alive

Up until we’re not.

We’re not


if our benefits were given to us out of blood, sweat, and tears

if we keep having to fight each and every year

if the fight to be somebody puts us at odds with our peers

if our hope for the future hadn’t disappeared

the moment you asked me

about my “Black Privilege”

I can’t rest

With this “figment of my imagination”

This “fear yet to take shape”

Adversity is real

And privilege is not a Black Man’s trade

My friend,

Affirmative action didn’t get me into this school.

I did.

So, whether you understand or not

I walk confidently down these halls

Because I know I earned my spot

I’ll get that job with that company

Because they’ll see my skills

They’ll recognize the will

Of a person who always tries their best

Who maintains a 3.8 GPA

And scored a 30 on the ACT test

My friend,

We’ll fight hard for ourselves

But we’ll fight harder for you

For you to see the truth

Because we’re not less than

or more than

We’re equal

to you

Happy Monday