Meet The Winners of CBMA's First "Ali Prose" National Poetry Content!

After evaluating the variety of dynamic submissions, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) is excited to finally present the winners of our first "Ali Prose" National Poetry Month contest! Launched in April, the contest invited high school seniors from around the country to submit short poems for the chance to win scholarship money. 

The entries we received were so inspiring, and were each judged by an esteemed panel including celebrated poet/author Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Members of Philly Youth Poetry Movement, Jamal Parker and Victor Jackson, and CBMA's Director of Rumble Young Man, Rumble Steve Vassor. 

Without further delay, here are the top three winners, along with their poems!

FIRST PLACE: Maison Gregory (Twitter: @MaisonDG) -- Irondale, AL 


Is black really black or is it just the surface?

Such a broad color, manipulated in many different ways

But does anyone take time to consider all its shades?

The potential is unparalleled

Endless possibilities

But who will take the time to shed light and actually discover its true colors?

Who's brave enough to take that risk?

No takers, I guess?

Then who are you to take credit when it generates it's own light

And shines brighter than any expectation you placed upon it

So I ask again,

Is black really black?

SECOND PLACE: Khari Prescott-Rodgers (IG: @bruh.khari) -- Wauwatosa, WI


Holy is my God,

Im warmly reminded that,

all is well.

Although all has fallen, again

All will be built.

Again my name will sing freedom and happiness.

Shed light on the dark shadows of of my monsters.

No soul runs free,

No souls, beats the waves.

They crash.

Sounds of drums to me, though.

My brother cries in languages unknown to my knowledge.

Again they crash.

Fearful I'm sure they planned for me to be, but trained to sustain suffrage to highest degree, you’re seeing..

A warrior.

Slow down waves, I beg.

Fore my Kaka has fallen into torture.

I pray for a source of healing, again.

My heart beat becomes the only thing I can hear.

As light as the wind but as strong a King.


I am free.

THIRD PLACE: Jawan Bowman (@wan_dreams) -- Louisville, KY


Peter Pan and his band

Had more lost boys than grains of sand

The lost boys were not put on the back of milk cartons

but on the back of airbrush T-shirts

We lost boys claimed the streets

until the streets claimed us

Peter Pan guided us

His shadow was cold as steel

But when it grabbed us it was hot as shell

No wonder his shadow runs from him

Darkness knows darkness

So the lost boys darkness has a conscious

We even tried to be cautious

Until Peter Pan rolled up like 12

He took a boy who was 12

Said he looked like he had a 12 gauge

The lost boy must had maintained his gaze

Peter Pan shadow is the gun making sure our lost black boys don't grow up

Peter Pan is the police and we know how many lost boys they have

Peter Pan and his band

Has more lost boys than the grains sands

Please join us in congratulating these talented young poets! You can also hear Khari Prescott-Rodgers and Jawan Bowman recite their poems during our May network call by clicking here!