Student Writings: Laws for the Negro- Laelah Jackson

Literacy is illegal

because literacy forms

thoughts, opinions, ideas.


If you can read you can write

And if you can read and write

You can read and write your way to freedom

Freeman the Free Man.


Knowledge is illegal

Because knowledge leads to wisdom

And wisdom leads to power.


Family is illegal

Because family leads to unity

And unity leads to together


Voices are illegal

Because a voice shares opinion

And a voice sways the mind.


Man and womanhood is illegal

Because man and womanhood leads to dignity

And dignity leads to independence.


Peace is illegal

Because violence leads to chaos

And chaos keeps y’all running with your heads cut off.


Love is illegal

Because love brings people together

And bringing together means group power.

Freedom is illegal

Because freedom leads to You

and your sense of self

And who do you think you are,

black man?