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'Black History is a Verb': A young poet's message about Black history in America

Joshua Nkhata said he wanted to show the importance of Black history in the context of his personal experience.

A young Minnesota poet is sharing a powerful message about Black history in America, through the lens of his own personal experience.

Joshua Nkhata wrote the spoken word poem, "Black History is a Verb," and read it for KARE 11's Breaking the News on the first day of Black History Month. Watch his performance in the video above.

"This poem, 'Black History is A Verb,' ultimately attempts to exemplify the importance of Black history in our community by demonstrating its impact on my individual life," Nkhata explained. "As the poem would suggest, Black history was always a touchy subject for me. As a kid I hated the way it was taught to me. It was always just a brief few pages in the back of an otherwise all-white textbook."

Nkhata was previously featured on "Breaking the News" after writing another powerful spoken word piece following the killing of George Floyd last May. That moment of recent Black history also played a role in his latest poem.

"Black history must be a verb, an action word, he said. "When I began to treat Black history as an action, my understanding of it became much clearer. Black history was no longer the somber retelling of the past, it was the ever-evolving story of now. While Black history is certainly the stories of MLK and Rosa Parks, it is also the stories of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Black history is right now, it is every person fighting against a burden unfairly imparted upon them from birth. Black history is everywhere, don't blink, you might miss it."

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See Nkhata's previous spoken word piece featured on "Breaking the News" below: