To My High School Principal Who Was Like A Father To Me

You're from the age of the birth of hip hop

Crisp Adidas, shell toes with long white crew socks

Turned into leather laced up oxfords and clean black suits

Never afraid to admit your roots

that produced fruits for students to enjoy

Biting from apples filled with knowledge, wisdom, and compassion

Screaming "Black boy joy"

You've deployed

A sense of warmth and gentleness

A gentle poetic giant

Who was an advocate for access and progress


When I needed you

A "How are you doing Ms. Shakira?"

Took the cake for a girl who didn't know what sweet sincerity tasted like

You were present at every moment

Constantly making sure I was growing

And well spoken

To be a Poet

You made sure that I watched the life I was leading

To know the difference between LIVING and BREATHING

Even in the midst of grieving

You had comfort words that hit the hearts of many like warm blankets when it's chilly

You were the Fresh Prince of Fresh Breath Air there was no need to be in Philly

But really

I got a recognition,


That your legacy is a hard act to follow

You were the Obama at the time that made the halls of Hickman High hollow

You were always there when we needed you

A congratulatory when we didn't

You were everything a principal needed to be and more

You were fathers to young black boys and young black girls

Who has never seen the face of strength and resiliency

And I am glad to say

That I will never forget the impact you have made on my life

And I am glad to know

That there's a village of students you fostered that you get to call your own

Thank you, Mr. Johnson.

Your one of many daughters

I truly believe that you made all the difference

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