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Code Switch

by BREE


White people's way: Hello, my name is Brianya Nyre Turner. Nice to meet you.

My way: Hey, my name's Bree because there's too many Brianyas.


I code switch, so how do you know which one is the real me?

Easy, it's number one because I don't always act black Depending on who I'm with and where I am at.

It sorta makes me sad—well no, it makes me mad Because code switching back in the day would stopped all those lynchings.

But even today, who would thought that having African Americans hanging By a rope, burnt, beaten, already dead woulda been a prediction From the world we're livin’ with. All this sinning.

Just because I'm black doesn't mean that I'm not intelligent.

Intelligence didn't stop the paper bag test, Which separated the light blacks from the rest.

This world reminds me of a bird: We have been through migration called segregation.

We went through a death called slavery, the Civil Rights Movement.

We have been through a rebirth called Black Lives Matter.

We aren't puppets or your toys. We don't need you To speak for us we have are own VOICE.


Me switching between what I want to say To what I have to versus what I want to,

This isn't up to you, for you to choose.

I have to code switch around my white friends, not to sound so black.

Code switch around my black friends, not to sound so white.

Code switch around my family, not to get told that what I had Just pronounced hadn't been in any book back when they were learning— So I code switch to myself, I hid myself. I want to come out of the shell we call code switching.

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