Kyla Jenee Lacey: Initially, I was a bit shocked that a group of people would go that far. The work had been used as curriculum at different schools in different parts of the country, as well as different countries. Then I was a bit angered. I have a sensitivity towards my art. And one of the things that angered me the most was them saying that I wasn’t a credible source, and I’m not sure how I’m not a credible source to my own experience.
The poem went viral a few times, and in the very first wave of its virality, a lot of the white people who were upset continuously said, “Well, you need to learn your history. You need to learn your education.” I have a degree in history. That is literally what my degree is in.