Janae Dixon, 16, is a junior at Propel Andrew Street High School in Homestead. She is a poet and a songwriter.

For Janae, poetry is an important part of who she is. “Instead of being mad at the world, going around being sad, or taking out my anger on everybody else, I write. Poetry is my outlet,” she said.

For five months, PublicSource worked with Janae and other young black women at Propel as part of the “I am a black girl and…” project. When we asked these young women to write a piece that would be illustrative of their lives, Janae shared with us a poem titled “Being 16…”.

“Sixteen is the age when you are battling with a lot of things, you are sort of going into adulthood but you are still a child, that’s what the poem is basically about,” she said.

One day, Janae hopes to become a record producer like DJ Khaled, writing music and producing her own albums.

Being 16…

By Janae Dixon

You’re 16. What more do they expect from you?
You’re far from the usual and not going to school’s not optional
Since preteen, you’ve been thrown in this gravity pull:
To stay on Earth and live a dream or close your eyes and be with the king whose palace is a heaven’s gates occupied with a new set of wings.
But you’re just 16, you too young to understand
The battles women face in a world where only things are created by men
But if you just stay in a child’s place, they won’t cease to tell you again:
Work your way through a day of calculations just to bus a table for a job who don’t value the waitress.
You’re 16; you’re a good kid I’d vouch for you…
No surprise don’t let’em know that I told you
But you’re only 16 what more do they expect from you when you’re only 16…