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Cydney Brown ’22 Has Poem Published by New York Times

This time last year This Week was talking to Cydney Brown ’22 about being named Philadelphia’s Youth Poet laureate. This year, we are talking to her about her poetry being published in the New York Times as an honoree in its Coming of Age in 2021 contest.

Last year, Cydney submitted her work to a New York Times competition which revolved around work created during the pandemic. She was named as a finalist earlier this year and then some time later her poem “Do You Ever Wonder?” was selected as a mentoring text for this year’s competition and published by the New York Times on Sept. 24, 2021.

Do You Ever Wonder? Spoken Word by Cydney Brown

Cydney shared the powerful reasoning behind why she selected this particular piece for the contest:

I chose this specific poem because it was heavy on my heart. I hear loud sounds outside my home at night and I always have hopeful thinking. I hope and pray someone didn’t lose their life to gun violence or police brutality. I hope and pray that it is just thunder. I think of those who’ve died because they were racial profiled like Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging. I wanted to make a point in this piece that you can run while being black without being a thief. I also wanted to incorporate other minorities who have been affected by the pandemic such as Asian Americans by saying ‘I can cough without being a virus.’

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