The country may seem divided right now, but one teen’s powerful poem may be the glue that inspires to us to stick together.
It’s called “Rise Up,” authored by Royce Mann, a 15-year-old poet from Atlanta.
Mann delivered his riveting poem on Monday at a Martin Luther King Day event at the city’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was a pastor.
The poem sets its tone in the opening lines:
Let’s rise up. Let’s rise up with those overlooked and undervalued by society.
The black man who walks down the street on the way to his job. It’s his first day as an 8th grade English teacher.
The same black man who has a son, his most prized possession. Who told that son that life will be hard, but anything is possible.
The black man who walks down the street, on the way to his job, only to pass a women clutching her purse, a little too tightly.
The poem goes on to praise other Americans trying to be their best, be they Muslim, disabled, Hispanic, or a poor white boy who doesn’t feel the benefits of “white privilige.”
As the video above shows, Mann’s ode to inclusion definitely got audience members to rise out of their seats and give him a standing ovation.
This isn’t the first time one of Mann’s poems have gotten a rise out of people.
Last summer, he wrote a poem called, “White Boy Privilige,” in which he discusses the advantage white men have over women and other races, and how he benefits from it.