Brave Teen Girls Use Poetry to Make Powerful Call for Change (VIDEO)

somewhere in americaIn a time when an alarming number of adults seem unable to make sense of issues like gun control, racism, and censorship, teens are speaking out on these topics with a wisdom beyond their years. Case in point: Rhiannon McGavin, Zariya Allen, and Belissa Escobedo, whose award-winning spoken word poem "Somewhere in America" will blow you away.

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The poem, a result of the girls' involvement in the nonprofit teen literacy program Get Lit, won third place in the international Brave New Voices poetry competition last year; the girls were also invited to open for John Legend at the Hollywood Bowl. Check out their performance of the piece on The Queen Latifah Show and you'll see why:

Doesn't that just give you the chills? This performance is stunningly powerful, and not just because of the content. Of course all of the points the girls make are all too valid, and their refusal to sugarcoat the facts certainly drives their message home in a way that's impossible to ignore. But even more affecting, at least to me, is the fact that these young girls can speak with such conviction and passion about our society and its ills at their ages, and how unwavering they are in their conviction. It's a sign to me that this next generation is more informed and more opinionated than we perhaps give them credit for.

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As the mother of a 14-year-old girl, I have found fascinating to observe how much my daughter and her friends know about what's going on in the world, and how much they care. Personally, at 14 I didn't care all that much about politics, and I was too busy worrying about my own inadequacies to realize that a large part of my insecurities were the result of what a misogynistic society was telling me about who I needed to be and how I needed to look. Bravo to these girls for not only recognizing what's wrong with the world, but having the courage to speak out about it.

Ah, the idealism of youth. Now if only the grown-ups in the world could recapture that zeal and use it to make some real changes.

 

Image via Queen Latifah/YouTube

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