If Yara Shahidi Was President: A Poem From a Young Black Woman

If Yara Shahidi was president,

stores would have to stop locking up

Black hair care products.

No more embarrassingly asking someone to open it,

someone overworked and underpaid,

since President Yara outlawed the locks,

and dramatically raised the minimum wage.

If Yara Shahidi was president,

there’d be no more letter grades.

Since letters always seem to discriminate

against Black and Brown kids

struggling to wake

to make the bus

driving outside of their district

so they can get the education

their zip code try so hard to prevent.

If Yara Shahidi was president,

“microaggressions” would be called

what they truly are,


I wouldn’t be asked to excuse the ignorance of adults

under the pretense that their racism is micro

when the affects on my young mind

are large enough to build

a resentment in my soul

so hot it’s cold

so new it’s old

so small in the minds of millions

it’s grown macro,

a hate for my own skin.

And when I say Yara,

I mean a president who

actually gives a damn about me.

I mean a president who exists

beyond power and greed.

If there ever can be such a thing,

I hope I live to see it.

I hope I no longer have to dream it,

writing silly poems about a world

so achievable

it hurts.

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