A growing literary arts movement is shaping discourses about youth and youth culture. With the historic election of President Obama serving as a departure point, this essay calls attention to poetry and the new race era to offer insights into the power of writing. For many youth who write in their own contexts or compete in the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam Festival, for example, such themes as voice, identity, citizenship, and leadership in the twenty-first century reveal how language is used to expose social realities often steeped in the margins. What do these themes suggest about the possibilities of poetry in a new race era? Indeed, what do they convey about inhabiting a new race era? Examples that tackle these themes are included in the essay.

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