In the 661: Youth Voices for Kern – Ja’Nell Gore “Rise in Black Excellence”

May 30, 2018 / and

We are happy to launch our newest edition of In the 661: Youth Voices for Kern… in this special edition we’ll be highlighting local youth storytellers who are using their voice to change the narrative of how decision makers see health in our community.

By Ja’Nell Gore

You’re smart… for a black girl

Why do you talk so white?

These are things that have sadly been made okay to say because

Over time it seems as if being educated has been equated to having a lighter skin tone

It’s as if we decided that succumbing to these stereotypes will lead to a better outcoming of the situations we are in

We are becoming the things our ancestors fought for us not to be

We are… slaves to the system


They put in the system that we could not read so we choose not to read but really that’s just how we choose to bleed

We are bleeding out our full potential


Our blood is every book we put down to open up instagram

Every class we ditched before telling our mommas that the computer just had a glitch

And every test we failed in fear of doing our best


Y’all we gotta do better than this


Can you imagine how shocked they’d be if we became everything that we really could be

Have signs up everywhere saying beware, educated black folk are nowhere near rare and everyone better prepare because we will no longer sit here in silence you will see a rise in black excellence


Not only do these kids know they abc’s but they are getting a’s in chemistry learning every inch of philosophy and no their intelligence is not apart of some mythology


We are rising up to take down all of the negative comments that have been pushed around us all these years


See my generation we are taking as stand for for our education

My name is Ja’Nell Gore I am 17 years old and poetry is important to me because it gives me way to be heard, let out emotions and and speak on things that matter to me. It has been my escape during anxiety attacks, by getting me to calm down and helping me breathe through those times. It has also given me a way to talk about problems in society that I feel are very important. Lastly, it has been my way to finally get out of my box and want to do more.


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JaNell Gore

Ja'Nell Gore is a student at Cal State Bakersfield. In addition to writing for Kern Sol News she is a poet who loves any chance she has to perform and be with her community.