A Black Girl’s Testimony


Khayanna Carter, Contributor

This poem, “A Black Girl’s Testimony,” was written and performed by Harriton sophomore Khayanna Carter at Vernon Young Park in Ardmore during the Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday, June 7th, 2020. Approximately four thousand people attended this protest to challenge the role of police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.

Hold me down

Since it’s not my right to know why my face is being pressed so deep into the pavement.

Lay me out

Let me lie there. Since it takes four to six men to tame me. 

I tried to let it out.

Okay I’m not resisting, stop beating 

But it’s too late now. 

Dignity done been ripped out 

Grown man got treated like a child 

So I guess it’s safe to say y’all took pride in that performance. 

Only so my wife and kids could watch you beat me down. (N***a) 

Say it louder cause we know you racist. 

Don’t be shy cause your actions speak it for ya 


Please understand your darkness means power.  

See that’s why they are afraid y’all.

When we unite there’s no force that’s greater 


I’m the sister of black men, the niece of black men, 


And their lives matter! MY life matters! 

How many times do I gotta tell you 


We are strong!

This is not vanity, it’s survival 

And for all the kids who keep saying they don’t know what it’s like to walk in my shoes

Your a** wouldn’t last one step out the door in my skin complexion.

Don’t judge me.

On my back I carry the burden of my ancestors,

It’s not enough to just empathize with me. 

Cause on a daily basis y’all don’t feel what we feel. 

Don’t judge us because of our skin color 

I am not ashamed! 

This is me cringing every time I hear my momma say 

Always gotta work twice as hard as the average white man 

In a society that was built to try and remind me that I am less than. 

I gotta be cautious, constantly looking over my back 

Based on the fact that I am black is what society offered. 

A society that loves to say racism no longer exists, 

But it’s because of that racism that when my people go 

to get jobs they get dismissed. 

1000 daily cuts, millions of unheard voices,

Cries you dismiss, human beings you discredit

Characters you demonize

All to give you the power to destroy

Our humanity we will always continue to fight for

Even as you continue to lose yours