Hey you! Stop slacking and stay on the task ahead!

You wanted to be the smartest right? Study after school for 1 hour, or maybe even more; most importantly, don’t fall asleep.

Not working hard and someone might catch up to you.

Don’t shame your culture by wearing something thuggish; wearing something with black and white that would make you like nice.

Don’t play sports because you aren’t any good at them; don’t waste your time when you can be studying to be successful.

No going to the arcade after school, no computer after school, no game consoles after school, and no hanging out with friends after school.

If your eyes are too small, wear glasses and it’ll make your eyes seem bigger and helps you see better.

Get good grades or you won’t be wanted anymore.

Eat proper protein, not just dogs and cats.

Don’t steal stuff or the gods will curse you.

Listen to your parents and don’t bring shame to the family.

Having manners is important, so don’t mess up your English when greeting someone. Greet them with a bow, not a handshake.

We worship the emperor, not Jesus nor God.

What do you think you’re doing? Staying awake after 9.

If you aren’t the best in the class then why are you needed?

No breaks, you’re going to Saturday School and After School Programs.

You are someone the emperor raised to be a militant towards education.

You probably haven’t realized yourself being feared by your classmates because it seems like you know everything.

Respect your teachers; don’t play videogames; don’t play sports; don’t play with friends; better yet, don’t have friends because you can’t use them anyways.

Stay reading books, writing, and going to school.

Your success will be absolute.

Get bullied by bigger men and don’t fight back.

Stay out of trouble and don’t miss class.

Be smart with money and save for college.


Now that you’re out, and then what? You aren’t free from the chains of your race. You are expected to keep it going with your children. The chains may have fell off, but the chain will grow on your children, just so they can experience the freedom that you have right now.


But you aren’t alone. People think of you as an Asian American as everything I’ve said to you. But what would you do? Become one of them, or deny everything you learned from them. Your choice can have a great effect on future generations to come, either good or bad, but take a chance and try the change to see how things really turn around.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Jamaica Kincaid He 3/4 by Calvin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account