ATLANTA – In a delicate time of protests and racial tension, a white, 14-year-old boy’s poem is being called the speech that explains it all. The 8th grader holds nothing back, and is now getting international attention for his explanation on white privilege.
Eighth grader Royce Mann lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He recited a poem he titled “White Boy Privilege” in a school poetry contest.
In the poem, he says he considers himself lucky because of the color of his skin and the cash in his parents’ wallets, but he told CNN he’s not apologizing for that.
“I’m not apologizing because i think it’s my fault,” said Mann. “I’m just apologizing because i think it’s sad what some people have to go through because of their skin or their gender and things they were born with and didn’t choose.”
Stars including Tracee Ellis Ross from Black-ish retweeted Mann’s speech begging for people to watch.
One person wrote, “If this 14-year-old white boy gets it, what excuse do others have?”
Mann’s message for other white boys: “When you see something that’s wrong, speak up. Make a difference.”
“It’s going to take a long time for people to be equal,” said Mann. “People don’t realize how far away we are from that.”
Mann says it was a class at school that opened his eyes.
He won first place for his poem.