a brilliant black mind

has always existed since the beginning of time.

our brains conquer heights not yet explored,

an intellect passed through our mother’s minds.

others will try to discredit your value,

but blackness does not equal inferiority.

you may be the only melanin in the room,

but you are essential.

Laraya Billups is a 21 year old poet from Virginia. This poem was written from the personal experience of being in classrooms and spaces where she was the only Black woman present, and sometimes feeling singled out from the rest. However, she feels it is important for Black people to be represented in places to show that we are just as gifted and worthy of the same opportunities.

For more of Laraya’s work, she can be found on Instagram as rayarochelle_ (personal account) and wordtoraya_ (poetry account).