Black Voices

High School Poets Deliver A Powerful Message Chicago Needs To Hear Right Now

Four teens' powerful performance from the Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) youth poetry slam semifinals in Chicago is attracting a lot of attention.

A video of TEAM Englewood Academy's spoken word performance of "Hide Your Schools, Hide Your Homes, Hide Your Children, 'Cause He's Wrecking It All" at the Young Chicago Authors-organized event has been viewed over 2,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube on Saturday.

The team's poem describes Mayor Rahm Emanuel as "Mr. Wreck-It Rahm" and specifically criticizes the mayor's support for closing Chicago public schools and city mental health clinics, while also supporting the building of a new basketball arena for DePaul University using some public funding.

"There's not money for our schools, but there's enough to build a 'New Chicago,'" the teens say. "But that 'New Chicago' is not for us."

"Time to stop the destruction of our city," the poem continues.

According to the TEAM Englewood website, the academy's spoken word team was first established during the 2008-2009 school year. The team won the "Spirit of the Slam" award in 2012.

One of the team's co-coaches, Dave Stieber, has previously described LTAB as "one of the best things that Chicago has going for it" in a HuffPost blog.

The LTAB team finals will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Cadillac Place Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., in Chicago. Tickets cost $10 for students and $20 for adults.

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