Malcolm Yearby is from Burnsville, Minnesota. For him, the stereotypes of a young, black male are seldom aligned with success or anything positive. Yearby feels his presentation of himself to the world as an African American male is significant because of his hope to engrave a new, positive standard in society. He believes that having a meaningful impact on society despite being subject to poverty, prejudice, discrimination, and lack of success builds strength and resilience in the black community, and redefines the unjust stigma of African American males. It also proves that success is not measured by racial inferiority or social degradation. Instead, succeeding is something that’s attainable by all people and the merits they possess.

Yearby channels these beliefs through his writing and poetry, hoping to encourage African Americans to breach the wall of prejudice and stereotypes that limit us and mold the society into a just and equitable place. It has become evident that diversity is not as uniformly enforced or embraced as it should be. Yearby wants to live in a world that allows him to succeed regardless of his identity.

He is an active member of the Student Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC), and one of the first leaders of the Student Diversity and Inclusion Council (SDIC) at his high school. He leads Mentorship Group and Race in America, two organizations that advocate for diversity, minority leadership, and the racial identity and its relevance within society. Yearby is also an active board member of Youthprise, an intermediary organization that serves to dismantle disparities with and for Minnesota youth. Yearby wants the world to see him as a proud African American male that is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and youth equity. He wants to be a leader who makes a lasting impact on youth.


The Birds of a Fetter...

by Malcolm Yearby

The birds of a fetter

flock together-

staggering through stretches of the White Man’s Burden.

Raven brown backs sizzle,

blood boiling from open wounds

that leak - Hopes and Dreams.  

The birds of a fetter

flock together-

Adoring their unclenched ankles

and woundless backs.

Yet, scan - though barely -

The Document that claims their liberty,

but betrays fact.

The birds of a fetter

flock together-

trotting past clenched purses,

slant side eyes, and 12-

suppressing their deep-fried,


curly haired


Within the palms

of their tired Fists,

praying that the

Black will diminish within.