Black History Month: Lincoln Wilmore

In celebration of Black History Month, we are hosting a series of profiles and stories to amplify and honor people, businesses, organizations, and events connected to the history of Seattle’s Black community.

Happy Black History Month. But Know the TRUTH – We Are Amazing 24/7 365 (PASS IT ON)

By Lincoln Wilmore

Being Black in America can be complicated, misunderstood, powerful, and empowering. I would like to take this time to share my views and take you on a journey to empower, elevate, inspire, and educate my readers on what it means to be Black in America.

The truth of Being Black in America means We Are Amazing. We are smart, strong, creative, geniuses, inventors, and kind; despite our horrifying history, lies, and untruths! We are full of undeniable resilience, strength, and wisdom.

We are trendsetters, the blueprint and the backbone of America. We change the game. Nevertheless, we/African Americans MUST remind ourselves that our greatness is not limited or contained to just one month. We Are Amazing 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day,7 days a week.

African Americans are constantly overcoming obstacles, causing us to work harder, be smarter, be more, prosper, and succeed. We are constantly bombarded with perceptions and misconceptions, which often lead to fear, trauma, and hate against us. Despite this, we break through the barriers, the mental anguish, and the pain… Why? How? Because We Are Amazing!

The City of Seattle is making tremendous changes: We have elected our second Black mayor, Mayor Bruce Harrell; the Port of Seattle Commission now has two strong eloquent women of color, Toshiko Hasegawa and Hamdi Mohamed; the Seattle Kraken hired Everett Fitzhugh, the first Black broadcaster in the NHL; and the prestigious Lakeside School hired the first African American male, Kai Bynum as Head of School! And so much more. The African American representation in Seattle is diversifying, and yet, more is required. Don’t be afraid, Seattle. Don’t be afraid, America. Don’t be afraid, World. Accepting the truth of our greatness benefits us all.

And that’s the truth.

THE TRUTH. We Ask

WHY DOES AMERICA HATE US?

By Lincoln Wilmore

AMERICA NEEDED US

Trusted us

and our abilities

We plowed their land

Gave them their worth

We ironed their clothes, cleaned their homes, raised their children

Cared for them when they were sick

We built this land without pay or recognition

WE WERE YOUR

Workers

Farmers

Maids

Inventors

Entertainers

Your strength

And your help

AMERICA TOOK OUR

Names

culture

language

religion

our families

our future

our dreams

and our self-worth.

They divided us

And you’re still trying to break us

But we’re not broken

We’re fed up

IN RETURN, AMERICA

Was evil to us

We became your property.

You beat us

hung us

dismembered us

lynched us

raped our women and our children.

You emasculated us

neglected us

You killed us.

America didn’t even want

to educate us.

SO WHY DO YOU HATE US

I can’t make sense of this

AMERICA STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND US

How we can still love you, others, and ourselves

despite our hurt and pain

WE HAVE SUFFERED THROUGH

Slavery

Jim Crow

Voting rights

The criminal justice system

Drugs and alcohol

WHAT DO WE WANT

An America that recognizes

Our pain, hurt, and the crime that it has committed.

We want a criminal justice system

Health care system

Educational system

Economic system

that is fair to all

WE WANT

A fair playing field

Yes, this is not a game so stop changing the rules

Equal justice for all

RECOGNIZE THIS

YES, WE ARE

smart, strong, creative, geniuses, inventors, and KIND

Full of undeniable resilience, strength, and wisdom

And we’re still hopeful

HOPEFUL FOR CHANGE

It’s time America

It’s time for accountability

It’s time out for empty promises

No justice, no peace

We won’t stop till it’s

An America for ALL

We Are Amazing,

and THAT’S the REAL TRUTH.


Lincoln is the Youth Leader of Fathers and Sons Together, a youth development organization that focuses on youth and family development. FAST promotes lifestyle changes that support improved educational outcomes, improved health, and wellness. Furthermore, participants make better decisions while inspiring community advocacy and engagement from youth and parents alike. Lincoln is a 16-year-old scholar, writer, athlete, visionary, and entrepreneur.
“I was raised to love myself and my culture and to understand the power of my voice, words, and actions as I continue to embrace and learn the truth of our American history and its stolen land, stolen people, and stolen labor. I yearn to learn the truths and facts of my African American history. Despite the many deceptions, untruths, and misconceptions, what I know is that We Are Amazing! I write to inspire, elevate and inspire all of our greatness. We Are AMAZING! 365 24/7″
Lincoln has authored additional poems including, Being Black in America, and has had a featured article in the South Seattle Emerald.

This piece was commissioned by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The opinions expressed and information contained herein do not necessarily reflect the policies, plans, beliefs, conclusions, or ideas of the City of Seattle.