SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls student is getting national recognition for a poem about her life. Teonna Randle just finished up her sophomore year at Jefferson High School. In April she entered a poem in the Expression by Walgreens competition and recently found out she won.
“I am mixed. Two worlds and cultures colliding together to create a girl who will only be seen as one color,” Randle said in her poem.
That’s the beginning of Teonna Randle’s award-winning poem. She wrote it back in eighth grade and decided to submit it in a contest earlier this year.
“While I was writing it, I kind of thought it would be a nice opportunity to talk about issues that were bothering me at the time because this was during 2020, so it was during the Black Lives Matter movement and during COVID and all this weird stuff was happening so,” Randle said.
She titled her poem Two Worlds and described the challenges of being a bi-racial child.
“Hiding me in her womb for 9 months, she realized a fact: The color of her baby’s skin makes her a target,” Randle said in her poem.
Those powerful words earned her first place in the contest, but an even bigger win would be to inspire others to open up.
“I just want people to talk more, be more open about issues. Not being so shielded from the real world or, you know, the tragic things that happen,” Randle said.
“You may hate us and fear us as much as you want. Go crazy as Mad Hatter trying to make us disappear, but we are proud to say we are all still standing here,” Randle said in her poem.
Expression by Walgreens was started 13 years ago with hopes of helping students deal with tough issues through expression with art, media, and poetry.
If you’d like to hear her full poem, click here.