When poet Malcolm X. London spits that “the educated aren’t necessarily the educated,” he’s referring to the inequalities of the public school system. The18-year-old Lincoln Park High School senior argues that our “failing” schools are actually succeeding at what he says is their real purpose: Preparing young people for a future that mimics the problems and contradictions of society as a whole. “My high school is Chicago,” he recites. “Diverse and segregated on purpose.”
London’s poem, High School Training Ground, was one of several pieces that helped him win impressive accolades at this year’s Louder Than a Bomb competition. London was the top individual performer in 2011, selected from over 700 competitors. His piece is also the second in our month-long series of young poets performing their work on location.
In honor of National Poetry Month you can check out London’s understated but powerful performance in the video above. And if you missed last week’s homage to Cabrini Green you can watch it here.
WBEZ is a presenting partner of Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam Competition and Festival. Click here for more information. Thanks to Alltown Bus Service for letting us film on their Chicago lot.