A Chicago teen was banned from one of the most magical nights of her high school career, all because of a poem.
Taiylar Ball hoped her spoken word piece “Dear Black Girls” would inspire her peers, but instead it was the reason she was unable to attend her prom over the weekend. And sadly, the poem may even keep her from participating in her school’s upcoming graduation ceremony.
So what was so offensive about the poem? Here’s an excerpt:
“My complexion is beautiful you see, look at me…You will never understand how it feels to walk this earth as a Black woman…You only feeling me when my chocolate skin is shining with coconut oil flexing with tits out on Twitter…Dear Black girls your mind is filled with self hate, and emotion but let me tell you brown girl, you are one of a kind…love yourself cus they don’t…there is power in your melanin…Dear Black man, brothers, n*gga? Kim K wearing you like an accessory, be conscious black man…”
The 18-year-old honor student told JET magazine, the poem was meant to “combat stereotypes that people have about Black people,” not be offensive in any way. Yet the school zeroed in on one thing: the n-word.
Taiylar, who’ll be attending Florida A&M University in the fall, called missing her prom “very hurtful.”
While her class mates partied inside Chicago’s Field Museum, Taiylar took photos and had a mini-celebration outside. Still, it wasn’t quite the same as experiencing the moment with her peers.
One bright spot, however; Taiylar got on the radar of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, who encouraged her 7 million Twitter followers to listen to the teen.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 23, 2016
According to JET, Taiylar is a National Honor Society member and was accepted into 11 colleges and universities, and received more than $1 million in scholarships. So it looks like she’ll be just fine.