Letter to the Editor: A poem on racial discrimination

Twelve-year-old writer Madison Pidor shares a poem.

My name is Madison Pidor, and I am a 12-year-old writer. I am also a student in Cherry Hill. The subject of my work is simple: I want to spread light on the racial discrimination People of Color face on a daily basis.

From being targeted in stores, to just blatantly being looked down upon based on the melanin in our skin. Furthermore, I have a wonderful poem to share with everyone in Cherry Hill.

This poem has been recognized and read by author, Nikki Grimes, and won the Harlem Renaissance Fair for best poem. In addition to this, I believe it will help others learn about POC representation throughout our community.

“Masks”

I walked up to a mirror,
Painted gold
and asked myself
Which mask am I going to wear today?
What about the mask that conceals my pain?
But I told myself “I wear that one every day”
My ancestors have been wearing my mask ever since they were born,
Given no choice
No respect
Not even basic human rights
But we learned to conceal that pain,
Right?
We have used things such as music,
And literature
And things of our rich culture
To ease our suffering
But that doesn’t change the judgements people will make when they take a quick glance at my skin
So I wear a mask
We all wear a mask
Because judgements will be made no matter how we change as people
One day
I hope
We can take off our masks and notice underneath
We are all just a blank slate
For the melanin in my skin does not depict who I am
For I am just a soul
Who uses a “mask” to conceal my pain.
Madison Pidor