From the Anthology 

Black Women Coping in Cleveland


by Dominique Kizer

Born and raised in the Ghetto!

It prepared me for this cold world, and all of it’s battles

That’s why my skin is so tough

Most say I’m a little too rough, and that my attitude seem stuck up

I had to learn how to roll with the punches

If I get knocked down, I had to get right back up

Growing up in the hood there wasn’t any luck

If you made it out the hood, that meant you put in a lot of work

I done seen it all, and heard it all

Blood splatter on the walls

Lil Ray Ray selling dope right across the hall

No food sometimes, and no lights

Then yall wonder why I was so angry, and always wanted to fight

Breaking all of the rules and getting kicked out of school

Barely making it, so If I wanted it, I would take it

Joined a gang, I thought I was building bonds

When I got locked up no one helped, or even try to pay my bond

Now, here I am in jail all alone, doing 20 years for some else’s crime

Author Bio

Dominique Kizer was born and raised in East Cleveland, Ohio. She is currently a 6th grade English teacher. Dominique is passionate about self Love and empowerment. Outside of being a teacher she enjoys traveling and focusing on her brand. She owns (Fro’s Get Chose) an online retail store. This brand focuses on African American women embracing their natural hair and loving themselves. On Juneteenth she released her first children’s book called Kinky Hair Don’t care.  She has always enjoyed writing growing up, especially poetry. Now she’s finally doing what she loves and sharing it with the world.