Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Shoot Me Dead" by #StudentStowePrize runner up

In June, the Stowe Center presented the 2014 Student Stowe Prize for writing by high school and college students that motivates social justice. The runner up in the high school category was Yesica Solano of Mount Vernon, WA for her poem Shoot Me Dead. Yesica wrote the poem, below, in 2009 when she was only 12 years old, and published it in DreamFields: An Anthology by Mount Vernon Migrant Youth & Their Allies. For more on the book, and to purchase a copy, please visit dreamfieldsbook.wordpress.com.

Shoot Me Dead
by Yesica Solano

My pencil is writing but they're meaningless words 
Looking at the teacher but not attentive to what occurs 
My thinking somewhere else but here
Thoughts after school are relaxing on beer.

One more friend now vanished and gone
Crossing the border,three shots hit the ground, he was done 
Just before his loss, a painful climb
Uncle Peewee shot down, tased four times 
His eyes now closed with no second chance
With him now gone, no air to breathe, no song to dance 
His eyes now closed, left two kids behind
Border patrol tarred his life, I wish it was mine
Want to plead forgiveness on part of border patrol
Want to help my family and friends overcome anger and take control 
Want to retaliate back at border patrol for all the illegals killed
Want to let them know they're creating empty spaces that once were filled 
Families got no choice but to fill them up with pictures of the past
Many now realize what they have can be gone with just three shots or a flash
People risking lives just for their family's need
Innocents dying while there are others creating havoc, smoking weed 
The laws just making up lies that create our reputation
Thought this was a free country, not an anti-Mexican nation.

Wanna take a moment of this world's time 
To remember all the illegals that have died
I know I'm just twelve and you think I don't understand 
Question for border patrol
"How does it feel watching an innocent die with a gun in hand?" 
Can they sleep at night knowing there are families dying with tears? 
Kids getting angry, ready for revenge, converting into their worst fears
Why kill an illegal when you can just send them back? 
What's the point just killing and faking illegals attacked?
When in reality border patrol had fun chasing and shooting them down 
But soon their time will come because what goes around comes around 
So many innocents blacking out, hitting the cold ground
So many illegals now dead with stories to be found
Point is border patrol likes shooting Mexicans
Can't deny it because it's true
So if I ran with no sign of attack, would you shoot me too? 
If you caught me running helpless, what would you do?
Would you fake my attack and shoot me too?
So many harmless people killed, families spread apart
My country is Mexico, border patrol can shoot me, aiming for my heart 
People going back to their country still end up shot in the head
I'm not an illegal but if you see me crossing the border 
Go ahead
Shoot Shoot me dead.

The Student Stowe Prize is awarded bi-annually to one high-school and one college student for excellence in writing for social justice...and we're already looking ahead to 2016! Entries for the next Student Stowe Prize are due January 15th, 2016 and guidelines will be posted to our website soon.

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