Writing Catalog

Amina Daoud

Grade: 12

Brush High School

Instructor: Melissa Jones




Check off your ethnicity in this box
Black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Other
Separated into categories like online shopping catalogs
White tees, Abaya, dark hoodies, veils

Forced to fight for freedom,
My black ancestors had no choices
My Arabic ancestors chose this American Dream
not foreshadowing feelings of worthlessness
due to an act of terrorism by people
that resemble the loving face of my grandfather
sharing same middle eastern skin and turbans
September 11, 2001
constricted my people into a category
stripping them of religion and innocence
renaming them: terrorist, bomber, threat
In America, arab families cannot be American
can be hi-jacker, towel head, murderer
Their hijab can't cover their ears as they hear
Go back to the desert
ride a camel
a word my DNA is immune to
as my melanin boils to the lashings
of my black ancestors; how they were
judged and categorized and named
Lowlife, ghetto, thief, uneducated
My cousin was shot being at
the wrong place at the wrong time
he was black and apparently was gang affiliated,
a criminal, yet he was innocent
The system didn't care that he had a son on the way,
or a daughter he loved,
didn't know he was with his brothers doing nothing wrong,
They never saw a man when really he was just a man - black
colored skin equals less than human
My ancestors
beat till their last breath
due to the flesh they wore
segregated, dehumanized
boxed in categories
thug, criminal, terrorist
America works hard to keep division amongst its dream
it is set aside for those of non-color
I stand here pumping veins of my ancestors
African-Middle Eastern
keeping my innocence hidden under my armor
I am warrior
I am Isis adorned in revolution
Where's that box...let me check that