Sense the Beauty in the Struggle

By Brianna Parnell

I remember 80th street like it was yesterday

Seeing the way the sun beamed and the palm trees

Made you feel like it was a vacation.

But when those sirens rang

You remembered

That South Central is just a concrete jungle.

I remember the taste of the corn from the elote man

I remember the sound of sunflower seeds popping

And the sound of them being spit out on the ground

Maybe one day a sunflower garden could grow from

The empty shells on the concrete

I remember smelling dinner from outside while playing

And how it made my stomach growl because i’d been

Running around all day with my friends, riding bikes, dancing

We didn’t have much, but we had all the imagination in the world

How did that one street turn into the map

For a new adventure everyday?

Brianna Parnell is a budding guitarist and Women’s Leadership Project alumni from Gardena High School, Class of 2019. She is also a first-generation student attending California State University of Sacramento, pursuing a BFA in Interior Design/Architecture. After undergrad, she aspires to attend Pratt Institute in New York, and pursue a graduate degree. After college, she aspires to be an owner of multiple Black-owned businesses that will put wealth back into her community.