Gabriel Ramirez’s poem, “On Realizing I Am Black,” performed at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA is an eloquent oration on personhood at the margins. 

There is nothing more beautiful than authenticity. But, in the face of imposition, oppression, and exclusion, that authenticity grows all the more radiant and incandescent. This poem, which creeps along the contours of Blackness and Latino-ness and Mixed-ness in the United States is the perfect articulation of how these intersecting identities have come to define a generation.

Watch the clip from Button Poetry below.

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