When They See Us

When They See Us

When They See Us: Spoken Word Poetry (inspired by the Netflix series and the movie, Woodlawn).

When They See Us: Spoken Word Poetry

I heard them say that:
we are not good enough
we are not worthy of love.

Injustice hides behind the scenes,
dictating rules, implementing policies — playing politics— he causes conflicts,

judges by the colour of our skin, by social statuses because well, cash rules everything. I heard him say:

“Arrest truth! Suppress him. Put him to death. Bury him. They will never see or hear him”.

But he forgets, truth never dies— he’ll always come back.

When they see us, they tell us:
“abide by this, abide by that— do everything we tell you to. Truth is dead, he cannot

save you. We rule because we are multiples of falsehood. The only victory you have is failure. Your voices will go unheard; your rights— behind bars. You

are not worthy of good; you’ll pay for the crimes you did not commit.”

When they see us, they are vicious,
suspicious — we are tagged dubious, incapable of any good.

When they see us, they race towards us with hatred so strong, they attack us
and trample on us.

When they see us, hell lets loose
we are bound and we are bruised,
abused and accused,
we are used and confused while they make up excuses for our plight.

When they see us, I wonder what they see
but if they look close enough,
they’ll see a lot more than the colour of our skin.

Written and Performed by Viano Dee

About the poem

The poem when they see us was inspired by the Netflix series which bears the same title. It is the tale of 5 young boys wrongly accused and sentenced to imprisonment for crimes they did not commit.

The poem was also partly inspired by the movie Woodlawn which also deals with racism but in the end, is conquered by love.

The poem gives a summary of what it feels like to be a person of colour in racist environments. But the truth is at the end of the day, we are all humans. We are all souls. No one is superior. Colour is exactly what it is— colour.

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Viano Dee

Non-niche blogger. Poet. Songwriter. A hardcore romantic. Her write-ups could take any form: poetry, articles, and even songs in ways that'll inspire you, resonate with you, or tell a story while keeping you both informed and entertained.

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Really nice poem. Keep it up

Reply to  Cyril

Thanks for your kind words Cyril. 


The line “But he forgets, truth never dies— he’ll always come back.” really hit me.  So many people think that they can hide or cover up the truth, but it always finds a way to come out.

Reply to  Simi

Very true Todd. As I like to say: “No matter how long falsehood lasts, it can never become truth.” Truth will always find a way out. Thanks for reading.


[…] When they see us, Freedom is just an illusion, It’s a tough job being God, Beyond Flaws, The Exodus […]

Wren Marie

This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it. We are all humans, Will be nice when more people figure that out. <3 

Reply to  Wren Marie

Thank you for your kind words, Wren. 

sabrina barbante

We can learn so much by poetry! When I was at elementary school we used to learn a new poetry every saturday. The teacher said it was for memory but we actually learned a lot by the lines. 


True. Glad you enjoyed it Sabrina. Thank you for stopping by.

Mandi Morrison

A wonderful poem. Full of truth and greatness. Thank you so much for sharing.

Reply to  Mandi Morrison

Thanks so much for the kind words. Glad you liked it.

Luci Westphal

Powerful words! Enlightening words! Really appreciate that we can hear you speak them. Thank you for sharing your art and your perspective. I haven’t seen “When they see us” – but I remember the case very well. When I watch it, I’ll think of your poetry.

Reply to  Luci Westphal

Thank you so much for your kind words Lucy. Glad you enjoyed it.


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