In August, Gabriel Ramirez burst on to the National Poetry Slam stage in CA with a public display of black pride. Dominican-raised and hailing from NYC, Ramirez arrived in CA with the Urbana Poetry Slam team. His poem On Realizing I Am Black” is a beautifully raw exploration on the intersections of blackness and Latinidad. What does it mean for your own grandfather to say, without pause, “stop looking like a n*****?What is it like to be told “you’re not Latina?”  *catches breath* In just a few minutes Ramirez delves deep into the intersection of these identities that are so often ignored and his unapologetic celebration of blackness has most certainly left me waiting for his next poem to drop.

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