LEGACY THORNTON, 18
Legacy Thornton is a Boston-bred writer and poet, social justice activist, and a natural hair enthusiast. Outside of school, she coaches 826 Boston’s award-winning slam poetry team. In her spare time, Thornton likes to write songs and help educate her community on current events and topics such as racism, mental health, women’s rights, and climate change.
Thornton points out that issues such as race and gender inequality affect the youth of present and future because these are some issues that young people must navigate constantly. The existence of movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo call out the societal destruction of particular groups and the greater ignorance/compliance of the privileged population. Thornton lives in a country where youth are forced to combat violence and bigotry to keep the country moving forward towards a world where women don’t have to be walked to their cars, where lynchings no longer exist, and where living in peace seems more attainable.
Thornton is currently majoring in English Composition at Bunker Hill Community College. She plans on continuing her work in poetry by coaching 826 Boston’s slam poetry team and competing in adult competitions.
by Legacy Thornton
On October 9th, 2017 I was involved in a fatal car crash.
A drunk driver slammed into my vehicle and left me to deal with the shambles.
It was a hit and run,
As in he hit it and ran to the next chick.
Apparently, this dude has crashed his way into a lot of girls’ lives
smashed his way between a lot of girl's legs
made himself a victim of the mess he created
That day there was one fatality:
My relationship with my mom.
The EMT claim they did all they could to save it but I watched it slowly fade in the back of the ambulance.
See, after that day my mother started to look at me like I was damaged
Like I was no longer her Legacy, but the crash.
Venom laced her tongue as she spurt out insults, along with the names she did not give me.
As if I were to blame for the passing of our loved one
As if I were to blame for the passing of my innocence
As if I were to blame for the other driver’s actions
She made me unwelcome in my own home.
But ain't that like a black woman,
always made stranger to her own body
Always the passenger,
Never the driver
That day portrayed the parts of me that broke,
Like glass lining the freeway.
Once we collided,
emotional turmoil leaked its way into my life.
I told him it was my first time behind the wheel.
I told him to be careful with my bumper.
I told him I was not a test drive.
I told him No.
In return, he convinced himself that I would change my answer,
as if the gravity of my decision resembled a multiple choice quiz.
He was a reckless driver who didn’t give an F,
And I wasn't even on the road yet.
But with time,
I’ve learned to repair the damage that was him.
I took control of the wheel.
I took my rearview mirrors off.
I drove away from the pain.
I forced myself not to look back.
I realized that rape is one event in the grand scheme of my life.
And now October 9th is just October 9th
Just another day that will pass me by.
Just another day where I was messed over by a nigga.
But ain’t that like niggas
Prone to mess things up.
And ain’t that like women
Prone to take every mess as a lesson.