Berkeley College Student Curtis McAllister Delivers Spoke Word at Harlem Fine Arts Show

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122

This original poem was present by Berkeley College student Curtis McAllister as the spoken word segment of the Harlem Fine Arts Show at the Reckson Metro Center in White Plains, NY, on March 28, 2019.

Black men like me
by Curtis McAllister, Berkeley College student


What comes to mind when you think about the existence of young black men, young black men like me?

What I would picture were the perceptions ... The perceptions that society itself put upon me

I was told that black men like me need to be tough

I was told that black men like me need to excel in athletics as a way out

I was told that black men like me should be emotionless

I was told that black men like me act with virility and impulsiveness with women

I was told that black men like me use strength and many times violence to solve problems

I was told that black men like me need to dress accordingly to the culture around us

Why? Why do black men have to fit into these? Why do black men like me have to fit into an image that’s KEY


That’s why I made the choice that I won't let the world decide for me. I will decide for ME


A black man like ME uses logic to figure out our problems

A black man like ME is capable of kindness and compassion in the world, but can also judge it and integrate in it

A black man like ME can help others while also taking time for ourselves

A black man like ME is goal oriented and driven to change

A black man like ME puts virtue and morality in the forefront of my behavior

A black man like ME is willing to risk comfort and the road less traveled


A black man like ME has decided to be all that he can be


This is the type of black man that I have chosen to be

So I want to ask you? How many other black men are willing to ask what “Me” means to them?



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