What It Means to Be Young, Gifted and Black: An Ode to Yara Shahidi

What It Means to Be Young, Gifted and Black: An Ode to Yara Shahidi

A poem that defines the essence of Yara Shahidi as an activist, actress and young lady.

Published July 13, 2017


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Sweet like the rain in the summer,

Beaming like the sun in July

Curls that coil like the spring in your step,

Joy and laughter that touches all that you’ve met.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Pumping through your veins is beauty and brains,

Knowledge and pain, explaining the world for those who refrain

Trusting your judgment, shedding your light,

From deep within your soul, your love shines bright.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

From TV screens to magazines, you’ve got exactly what it means to be,

Young, gifted and Black,

And as a matter of fact, your humanity goes far beyond than what people think a woman your age could contract.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Girls look up to you with sweet admiration,

Mothers stand up for you with compassion and adoration,

Michelle knows your name; she’s been a witness to your work

While your mother is a witness that could speak to you being a blessing since birth.


Black butterfly, girl you are too fly.

Colorful like the rainbow,

The stain of how far your impact runs is where the future lies

Feminist, activist, actress and more,

Yara Shahidi, your talents open every door

Time can’t box you in,

You’ve grabbed life by the reins,

A breath of fresh air,

Testifying for girls who’ve struggled for the cause and girls who’ve struggled with the shame.


Black butterfly, you are so fly.

There’s no one like you,

And it’s easy to see why

Your talents are unmatched,

Your authenticity is never tamed

This holy bubbling from within you, we need to know your name

A master of none, a young Renaissance,

Dedicated to the culture, dedicated to the cause.


Black butterfly thank you for flying by,

Your ethereal presence has tainted our skies,

Your positivity has brightened our eyes

Be a queen and spread love and you’ll always stay high

Written by Candice Grevious



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