9-Year-Old Activist Declares "We, The Kids, Need Answers" In Poignant Poem

by Casey Suglia

Millions of people have taken to the streets to denounce a long history of systemic racism and demand long overdue change. And one inspiring young activist is demanding answers. Reciting a poem amid Black Lives Matter protests, 9-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards asks adults listening five important questions.

"I have five questions for you," Havana — a young human rights advocate and activist — says before listing off her questions.

"Why do teachers read book about enslavement, but not all Black inventors, astronauts, scientists, dancers, pilots, diplomats, and judges?"

"Why do I go to school each year without having a teacher that looks like me?"

"When did I go from cute to dangerous?"

"Why do our leaders only talk about Black Lives Matter when it is close to an election?"

"Why do I have to live in fear that my brother and dad might not make it home?"

"We, the kids, need answers."

With Black Lives Matter protests happening across the country and around the world in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing, Havana's questions are top of mind for those calling for change.

The 9-year-old activist has been participating in Black Lives Matter protests in Germany, where she currently lives with her parents, who are U.S. diplomats, according to TODAY. On Twitter, where she describes herself as a "tiny diplomat," Havana recently attended a protest and proudly held a sign that read "I love being Black."

Beyond calling out racial injustices, Havana went viral back in 2018 when she advocated for gun reform and was the only student who walked out of her elementary school during the National School Walkout. "I know I am just a kid, but I know you are never too little to make a difference," Havana, who was living in Alexandria, Virginia at the time with her family, told ABC News.

Since then, Havana has helped raise money for her church choir's book club and has called on politicians to address global climate change. "Activism is in her DNA," Havana's mom, Bethany Edwards, told Good Morning America in 2019. "Since she could talk and walk, she has always had a unique gift to spread joy and help others."

It's clear that Havana's passion has carried on to this day as she calls on adults to think of her and her questions when they're at the polls this year. "Think of me when you have the opportunity to vote in your community," she recites in her powerful poem. "Don't try to stop me, I have a dream that you can't see."