9-year-old young activist shares powerful poem: 'We, the kids, need answers'

At 9 years old, Havana Chapman-Edwards is already an activist who encourages her peers to "speak up and speak out."
The young activist joined the march in Washington, D.C. and shared her poem at the Kid Lit Rally for Black Lives on June 4 hosted by bestselling authors Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson.
The young activist joined the march in Washington, D.C. and shared her poem at the Kid Lit Rally for Black Lives on June 4 hosted by bestselling authors Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson. Leigh Vogel
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Havana Chapman-Edwards is a 9-year-old U.S. diplomat who first gained national attention in 2018 when she was the only student at her elementary school to participate in the national walkout protesting gun violence. She is a passionate community organizer, philanthropist, public speaker and humanitarian as well as an actor and model.

My name is Havana Chapman-Edwards and I am 9 years old. My family and I are United States diplomats and we currently live in Germany. I have lived in six different countries and visited more than 30 countries, so I have seen firsthand that racism against black people is a global issue.

My dad and I wrote a poem together that I would like to share with you:

We, the kids, need answers

My ancestors were kings and queens,

you know what I mean.

Then others sacrificed and died,

to allow us to have better lives.

No matter how hard the world tries to leave people like me behind,

we still rise.

Dreaming to be on top of the world,

wonderful time to be a girl.

Confident and strong while moving along,

this is where I belong.

Think of me

when you have the opportunity

to vote in your community.

Don't try to stop me,

I have a dream that you can’t see

That keeps me flying free.

I have five questions for you:

Why do our teachers read books about enslavement, but not about black inventors, astronauts, scientists, dancers, pilots, diplomats and judges?

Why do I go to school each year without ever having a teacher who looks like me?

When do I go from cute to dangerous?

Why do our leaders only talk about Black Lives Matter when it is close to an election?

Why do I have to live with the fear that my brother and my dad might not make it home?

We, the kids, need answers.