During the quarterfinal rounds of America’s Got Talent a passionate Black Lives Matter poem took over the stage on September 1.
AGT’s first-ever spoken word poet, Brandon Leake, stood out among the other 11 acts competing for a semi-final spot as he spoke about his mother’s fear about her son living as a Black man in America.
"Normally death don't really bother me, I'm from southside Stockton. I'm all too familiar with how some family reunions only ever take place on graveyard grass, and a hole can be a safe haven for a soul in this mortal game of hide and go seek,” Leake said. “But, there is something so different about Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and the countless others."
Continuing his poem filled with emotion, Leake said, "My mother's greatest fear is that I won't return home breathing, blood pulsing through these veins enough to still be her Pookie. My mom warned me, 'Son, don't you dare get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time with that wrong colored skin ... I need you to return home my Pookie, to be your mom.'"
Celebrity judge Howie Mandel was so moved by Leake’s powerful words that he believed that he was the winner for the evening and tweeted his thoughts after the show.
The first two rounds of the semifinals of AGT begin on Tuesday (Sept. 8) and Thursday (Sept. 15). Finalists will be announced the following week before season 15 of America’s Got Talent crowns the winner during the finale at the end on September 22 and 23rd.