Ethnic Ways And Means

Poem About Upbringing Customs

Joel A. Johnson
1 min readNov 5, 2020


In Sunday service, as I actively listen
to the sermon, a group of preteens
repeatedly siphon off my attention
through small antics all but serene.

Guardians of the active youth
exude a cool indifference
to the scene unfolding while Gospel truths
are being explored for deliverance.

This then sent me on a tangent
stream of thought about ways ethnicity
is applied through culture with the intent
to train kids to regulate their personalities.

In the USA, the tone of a citizen’s skin
has tended to determine historically
whether disruptive youth gain wisdom
or suffer the wrath of the local authority.

The dramatic nature of this response
in the context of ethnic cultural relations
becomes a life lesson which is ensconced
in parenting rituals to deter altercations.

Still, what’s rarely appreciated
is that people who tend to crave
periodic disruptive acts have created
innovations on which the future is paved.

Meanwhile, Blacks with this trait
have by and large been conditioned
to suppress actions that spare them the fate
of a social misfit with a creative disposition.

© 2020 Joel Johnson



Joel A. Johnson

Family man, & creative who enjoys karaoke, poetry, & balance sports (skating & skiing). I focus on social justice. Writes for The Lark, AfroSapiophile, WEOC