For everyone it seems 2016 was their best year

and 2020 was their worst

Tell me why the exact opposite is true for me

In 2016 I was in 6th grade and I spend 3 months in rhode island

My whole summer bro 

and rhode island sucks because

There’s absolutely nothing to do but bum around the mall


2020 has been a year of learning and growth

Learning the faults of your past

how you might of aided in someone’s oppressions or pain

that its ok to be wrong

And how to do better

that the best thing I could ask for


My grandma just found out capitalism is evil

Well, she’s not thoroughly convinced

but she’s learning about systemic racism


I hope everyone’s grandma who doesn’t even know how to properly use her phone is learning about the extents of racism

So many adults rather wade in their ignorance instead of just sitting down and reading a short article

Growing is constantly realizing that just because someone older than you doesn’t mean they’re smarter than you, and if they’re willing to listen

Teach them


Yasmine T., 17, goes to Whitney M Young Magnet High School. She enjoys helping others, and I do that through Youth for Black Lives. She also founded No Boyz Skate Club for people with lived misogyny experience to have a safe space to learn how to skate and hang with people of similar interests. “Writing is one of the many ways I express myself and topics I’m interested in, like social justice and the intersections of my identity.”

What made you write your poem, and how does it relate to your experiences during the pandemic? 

I wrote my poem as part of a writing program. I was asked to write about personal experiences and stances on subjects important to me. The work I created through that has made me really happy at what I was able to accomplish with the right help. It related to my experiences during the pandemic because a lot of the realizations I had, happened during this time.

What do you want people to know about what you’ve endured this year?

I feel like everything I’ve had to endure this year was for the bettering of my character, and a lot of positive change will come from the disparities I’ve faced.

Between COVID-19, police brutality protests, job loss, parents and students working from home, there’s been a lot happening in 2020. Can you share a little bit about how your life has changed or been directly affected?

My mom owns a small business and she’s gone through a lot of stress and had to really throw herself into her work to make sure she gets through the recent changes. I’m extremely proud of her accomplishments and capabilities, because on top of that she is a single parent. I’ve spent a lot more time with my grandma while my mom works. It is hard for me while doing school work to be constantly moving between my home and my grandma’s. It’s also scary, because I don’t want to put my grandparents at risk of catching anything from me.

How has writing helped you this year?

Writing has helped me expand on my innermost thoughts to help me voice them to others around me. It has allowed me to be more open and more put together.

What do you hope a post-COVID world will look like?

I want to see huge changes. I hope the government can see how other countries have handled covid and follow suit. I also [hope] people are better at listening to others and educating themselves. 

Anything else you want to say about your piece?

I really love these pieces and I hope to create better work in the future.

Princess McDowell is a poet, writer and journalist from Dallas, Texas, and Rebellious Magazine's Special Projects Editor. She's also a cohost of the Feminist Erotica Podcast. As a writer-in-rebellion,...