This map of Athens is now made more-complete with the poetry of the nighborhoods that are often forgotten or misrepresented. This is the ebenezer I left behind in the library. I am so proud of my students.

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This poem was written & performed by one of my favorites on Latino Writer’s Day

“My neighborhood is filled with struggling.

“Too young for a job so boys resort to hustlin.

Small housing and stamps provided by the government.

All for the shade of a money tree.

To achieve goals that you have to soar to reach.

Some lose hope and chose

not to believe.

Or some, like me, stop and read

the fine print that you squint just to see.

A product of the struggle.

The choice to use my brain as a tool for something other than

to hustle.

I will get myself uplifted

to rise up instead of fall  into a

large category of statistics.

Using the school as a stepping stone

I will reach the peak of my

unique potential to catch my

opportunity, and I refuse to meet defeat

But I hate to see most of my colleagues unable to take

the route I’ve chosen to proceed.

And at the same time, I’m happy to be the person they believe can

make it and have a small victory

won through me.

I’ve been through a lot of tests

And I”m blessed to have a mother that taught me to be my best.

and to perform under pressure

and never crack under stress.

I’ve been through the lowest

the low, wet clay of my neighborhood

was unable to mold.

Onto my morals and values I hold.

But my neighborhood is what

makes me whole.” -DCT

Coming from Where I’m From

This poem was also read to the audience by one of my students at LWD

“Coming from where I am from,

what do you see?

I don’t live in a fancy nor classy neighborhood,

As you would see on your T.V.

I wouldn’t say it’s classified as Ghetto,

Because there’s nothing Ghetto about me.

Guys telling to hollar at you

While flashing a few dollars for

you to see.

Who are you to impress me,

They’re nothing but scrub bun guys

trying to take away from me,

A girl like me,

is something they will never get to achieve.

“Coming from where I’m from”

People are walking,

not because they’re trying to get exercise

They’re walking because they didn’t get

the education to lead them into affording their dream car.

Coming from where I’m from

Grown ups invest their time into selling drugs to innocent souls,

In exchange for a couple ones and

a buzz that will lost for only so long.

Coming from where I’m from

Girls show skin, short shorts, and wear

make up all for the attention of

a guy who wants one thing,

she’s searching for relationship and trying

to mend something internal that was

once bent or broken.

I won’t lie, I tried to be that girl,

That’s when my mother and daddy stopped me

and told me to let them fall for something

within

Coming from where I’m from

Your only innocent for so long.” -DF

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