Write to the City

Blog intro

This summer, more than 100 students from five US cities came to Chicago for a week to hone their craft and see the city in new ways with Write to the City, the annual hip-hop poetry-writing camp organized by Young Chicago Authors. During their visit, the young poets went to the MCA to see Kerry James Marshall: Mastry and then wrote about what they learned from Marshall’s work and about the ekphrastic art movement. What follows are a few poems performed during the camp as well as a poem inspired by the exhibition.

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## Audio
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## They Always
- By Mahnoor Jamal
- City: Chicago
Louder Than A Bomb Squad intern
After Kerry James Marshall's _Silence Is Golden_ and _The Lost Boys_
- They always tell us to be quiet
- Police tape our mouths shut
- Because talking Urdu Arabic Punjabi terrorist is a crime
- So children don't learn Ami's language
- Baba teaches them English first
- Doesn't want bullets of hate crimes breaking through their lives
- Childhood turned into constant assimilation
- Before culture can even try to seep its way in
- Told not to mention Isis the word bomb or anything of that matter
- For the fear of constantly being monitored
- Jokes about being in group calls with the government
Always have a bit of fear in them
- They always tell us to be quiet
- Know our voice is a weapon
- So they police tape our mouths shut
- Or at least try to
- Don't know bullets can't break a child's love of their mother tongue
- We mention terrorism in our activism
- Stating we are not the face of Terror
- Brown skin does not scream threat
- Brown skin does not scream at all
- And if it does we want the government to hear battle cries
- With the peaceful hum of the azan next to it
- Want them to hear that we're onto them
- No that they bomb Our Land
- Terrorism masked under hegemony
- Don't call it that though
We'll call it that though
- Give them more of a reason to tape our mouths shut
- to police us
- To surveillance Brown bodies
- To waste bullets on innocent
They always warn us to be quiet```