The Monroe College Art Collaborative Club

The Voice of Emmett Till

The following poem, by Monroe Human Services major Shaniyah McCloe, won 1st place in the Bronx Writing Contest. 

The Voice of Emmett Till

By Shaniyah McCloe


It was 1955, racism and hate still on the rise.

That’s also the reason why I died that day.

Look at me. Reeeally take a look at me.

Look at what hatred did to me;

Kidnapped, tortured and murdered me,

Ripped my whole future away from me.


Yeah, that’s me, age 14.

Beat me so bad, mom couldn’t recognize me.

They had to use my ring on my finger to identify me.

What could I possibly have done to deserve THIS?

Was that dare really worth this?

Sure, I did it on purpose,

But I was kidding, I swear.

It was seriously just an innocent dare.

See, my friends didn’t think that I’d do it.

So, I walked in that store, and did it, just to prove it.

*Catcall-whistle* … I teased, and I left;

Maybe giggled a little bit under my breath,

But I NEVER did those things that white lady said I did…


By the way, my name is Emmett Till;

The little boy two grown men killed.

Made me walk carrying 75 pounds,

Gouged my eyes out after forcing me to strip down.

They beat me nearly to death…

It was soon after that, when I’d take my last breath.


They shot me…


Tied me to cotton gin fan, with barbed wire;

And I was relieved, honestly, because by then, I was tired.

They threw me away in that lake.

As if MY life was invaluable and justified to take;

And I sank to the bottom, cold and alone.

Certain that I would never again get to see home.

So PLEASE.. remember my face. My name’s Emmett Till;

The 14-year-old boy AMERICA killed.

The harmless child AMERICA failed.

The one the “grownups” failed,

And the justice system failed;

But the power of my image will always prevail.


Photograph of student author, Shaniyah McCloe


Click here for more information on Emmett Till.



The Travel Blog of Rico Neely-Part Two

By Rico Neely

It’s been about a month since I arrived here. By this time, I would’ve expected to have the full gist of Italy- well, just Brescia, and I do, not totally, but I do. The part of the city I’m in sort-of reminds me of life back in New Rochelle- very family and community-oriented. Although I’m in the downtown area, everyone seems to be their brother’s keeper. I don’t really get to explore as much as I would like to because after returning to my apartment from a whole day of classes, I have to keep up with my online classes. The Classes at Cast Alimenti have proven to be not only informative but interesting as well. I love it! I can feel myself growing as a culinarian here. The teachers are very personable and funny, and the other staff, although they can’t speak much English, try their best to communicate with us. Oh, how can I not talk about the food during lunch time? It’s set up in a pot-luck style. All the classes from that day would bring something they made and add it to the cafeteria line.


For the most part, the meals the cafeteria staff makes are pretty much the same, but they change it up a bit at times. Growing up in the Bahamas, we have thing we say to people who take school for granted, such as, “you only come here for lunch eh?” Read my words carefully, if my High school was Cast, I would be there for the food. Yes, it is that good, scratch that, great. How can I forget, they have a coffee and dessert bar, just say the word and just like magicians, they will whip it up for you in a jiffy. Except Tony. Tony is an American that came in to internship at Cast Alimenti- he is from The Culinary Institute of America and is basically sharing the experience with us, but from the angle of a staffer. That’s pretty cool. He seems to be a cool and laid back type of person. I am proud to say that I taught Tony how to make a kick-butt Cappuccino and ‘Americano’, watch out Starbucks, the next best barista is on the rise.  Looking over all that I’ve written so far, a large portion of this is about the food Cast Alimenti serves during lunch, and I would honestly go on even more about it if my fingers weren’t getting tired.


So far this experience has taught me to take in every moment, never taking for granted the opportunities afforded to me. I can almost guarantee, the Rico of a few years ago would envy the Rico of today- how many people do you know can actually say that they’ve cooked and create life-long connections with Master chefs?!?! That’s amazing, but most importantly, it’s all God’s doing. I am extremely happy here- this is the place you want to go when you feel like disappearing or just vanishing, its ambiance, its people, its food, its culture is one that is amazing. I would say that this is my favorite place to be, but nothing and nowhere can beat the beautiful 700 islands of The Bahamas, don’t question me, I know this. Since I got here, I have been a morning bird, not by choice though; because of the 6hr time difference, I find myself going to sleep really early and waking up at about 3am, and staying up until it’s time to get ready for classes at 6:00am.


It’s weird, back in New York, I acted and looked like nobody’s child every morning, dragging myself to any class I had before 10:00am. But here, it’s like I’m the Energizer Bunny. I’m never tired in the morning, so I go into the kitchen, fix myself a quick egg sandwich and complete my routine morning meditation (having an intimate conversation with God). I actually eat breakfast everyday here, twice; once in my apartment’s kitchen, and once at school with all the other students that came along with me. if I were back in New York, that would be a wild fantasy. I feel like one of those over-acted cliché commercials promoting a product that they want us to believe is ‘perfect’ and can ultimately end world hunger, lol. Seriously though, it really is amazing here. I just wish I could’ve enjoyed it with my family and friends I left back in the Western Hemisphere.

Spring Writing Contest Winners!

Marcette Lynch, Rebeca Trinidad and Trinity Delzell met with Professor Scott yesterday to celebrate their Spring Writing Contest wins! Click below to see their work!

1st Place: Marcette Lynch, “Bullet in the Wind”
2nd Place: Rebeca Trinidad, “Rain Drops”
3rd Place: Trinity Delzell, “What are We?”



What are We?-3rd Place Spring 2018

Writing Contest 3rd Place Spring 2018
What are We?
By Trinity Delzell

As I started to inch towards the end of my life, I began to wonder, what am I? I Never looked at myself as a human being but merely a small particle, a small particle inching around like a piece of bacteria that we are.  As I inch closer to death I realize that everyone is the same. All of us are racing towards something that I don’t want to compete for. We are all racing towards Death. The reaper standing in his black cloak is waiting for all of us at the finish line, applauding his contestants, waiting to see who he will have next. Will he have a beautiful child to keep in his arms forever or a beautiful lady?  I feel as if atoms are not the smallest particles that seize to exist.

As I inch towards my death, I begin to wonder. Is there something that depends on us to help its structure?  Do we actually live in a galaxy or are we merely exceeding and bonding together to hold up a structure? As I said before, I never look at myself as a human. I never look at anyone as a human. Is there something smaller than an atom that we can’t see? Is there something so small that makes us its galaxy?

Life is too basic and easy to not have an answer to these questions. As I begin to slip towards Death and take one last breath, I ask, what are we? I don’t want to be a part of the Death Race. I want to live forever in my thoughts for I pleasure my thoughts more than anything. I want to live forever to find answers to my questions that no one wants to talk to me about because everyone is scared of what may be the truth. Is it the truth?

I fear Eternal Nothingness. The definition is clear to its name. I fear that after we die there will be nothing. After we die I fear there is no Heaven or Hell. I fear that I may never see the light of day again. People say they are comforted by the thought of Death but, for me, it lingers in my soul. Death treats me like a friend because it knows me life a friend. But, to me he is an enemy. I would rather drift into a black void of darkness with consciousness instead of dyeing. I fear Death because I want answers, because I want the truth, the answers to my questions. Most of all, I want the pain, the wet knots, and the feeling of an empty brain the vanish once I find my answers.

Rain Drops- 2nd Place Spring 2018

Rain Drops
By Rebeca Trinidad

Two rain drops fall from the sky
Racing down the windshield
Looking back at time
Connected to the future
Forgetting about the past.

Bullet in the Wind–1st Place Spring 2018

Bullet in the Wind
By Marcette Lynch

I come from a place where everyday, every one
Competes to make it to the finish line.
The race starts when you go outside.
No one knows if they will finish the race,
Because of race,
Do you know what it’s like to have a gun
Held to your face?
Looking over your shoulder as you walk down
The street, saying, “Lord please, I pray
Nobody bothers me”?
But the more you pray, the obstacles still push,
Their way.

I gotta finish this race!

We make it to school and the race doesn’t stop.
Gotta keep our heads up, even when the
White people make them drop.
You can’t show that you’re tired and wanna
Give up, ’cause they will look down on you
And not give a f***.
That’s too much for the ears, stay in the books,
Mama said that is your strangest look.
Because black and educated is what they overlook.
That’s an obstacle we will face until eternity.

I gotta finish this race!

When school is done the race picks up,
Around this time they trying to see who is
The next runner-up.
Running in zigzags when you hear a POP POP
Saying to my legs, you better not stop.
Mommy and daddy waiting on you, so
Let’s not make any more stops.

I gotta finish this race!

Now the race is coming to an end
Majority of us will make it, but a few of
Us won’t.
Bullets have no name, they just pick
Eenie, meenie, minie, moe.
If you didn’t know, the race of life
You compete with everyone around you,
Just like red light, green light.
But what is the finish line?
Is it to get home
Safe and sound in the flesh with you
Family is where you belong.

Spring Writing Contest 2018 Winners!

The winners of the Spring 2018 Writing Contest have been chosen! Please congratulate the following students:

1st Place: Marcette Lynch, “Bullet in the Wind”
2nd Place: Rebeca Trinidad, “Rain Drops”
3rd Place: Trinity Delzell, “What are We?”



Writing Contest Results Will Be Announced Next Week!

Due to the high volume of submissions for our Spring Writing Contest, we will be announcing the winner by the end of next week, Friday, June 29th! We have some excellent prose, poetry, and nonfiction to choose from. Stay tuned!

Is Your Heart Racing?

The final deadline for the Monroe Art Collaborative Spring Writing Contest is this Sunday, JUNE 18TH! If you have a poem, fiction or nonfiction story, please send it our way! The theme is racing and competition, and we are fine with metaphors! Get your submissions into before it’s too late!

Monroe Art Collaborative Member Annie Rodriguez Paints in the Bronx!

Join Annie Rodriguez, a skilled artist and student at Monroe College, on Saturday June, 16th as she paints a mural in the Bronx! More information can also be found at

Writing Contest Deadline June 18th!

The Spring Writing Contest deadline is coming up fast–especially if you’re driving a Hennessy Venom F-5! Its top speed is 301 MPH! Send submissions for the writing contest to before it’s too late!




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