Exploring Societal Prejudices with Javon Johnson in “cuz he’s black” (Part 2 of 4) #shorts

Curated By Ralph

"The Road Not Taken" is a source of inspiration for me, because it encourages me to seize opportunities and chart my own course in life.

Join me in exploring the complexities of societal prejudices as we delve deeper into Javon Johnson’s thought-provoking spoken word piece, “cuz he’s black”. This is part two of our four-part series, where we’ll continue to unpack the powerful message behind Johnson’s words. As we listen to his captivating performance, we’ll be challenged to confront our own biases and assumptions about race, and discover new perspectives that will broaden our understanding of the world around us. Get ready to be inspired and enlightened by this remarkable piece of art.

Exploring Societal Prejudices with Javon Johnson in “cuz he’s black” (Part 2 of 4)


Button Poetry has been a platform to showcase the power and diversity of voices in the poetry community. Button Poetry also encourages and broadcasts the best and brightest performance poets of today. The organization’s aim is to expand poetry’s reach and develop cultural appreciation for the art form. One of the most significant performances has been Javon Johnson’s “cuz he’s black,” which explores a societal prejudice.

The poem is about a Black boy learning to hide from the cops. The poet expresses discontent about the way we raise Black boys in society. There is concern about the reliance on survival skills relating to dealing with authorities. The situation presented is complex and requires consideration.

In this article, we will explore the themes presented in Javon Johnson’s performance. We will analyze how he challenges society’s norms and makes us reconsider societal prejudices.

1. Reluctance to Face the Law

In “cuz he’s black,” Javon Johnson’s challenges the idea of hiding from the law and encourages facing it. The poem is an emotional response to the increasing number of Black people’s deaths in the hands of law enforcement agencies. Javon’s words highlight the fear that Black people feel daily and some of the actions they take to avoid provoking law enforcement officials.

Javon’s performance also draws attention to the systemic racism that causes people of color to be the targets of police brutality. He believes that we need to start a conversation about what is happening in society and how to make changes happen.

2. The Complexity of the Situation

The performance also emphasizes how complex the situation is. The poet contends that society has failed in raising Black children. He explores how society’s prejudices are ingrained in us and how we unintentionally reinforce them.

The poem speaks to the struggle that many Black parents face, trying to strike a balance between educating their children on the realities they face while not instilling fear and paranoia. Javon expresses that it is time for society to shift their focus on raising Black children instead of just “doing damage control.”

3. The Need for Addressing Societal Prejudices

Javon’s performance highlights the need for addressing societal prejudices. The poem indicates that the problem is not exclusive to the police; it’s a societal problem. The way society raises Black children perpetuates the prejudices that lead to perils such as police brutality.

Javon calls on society to take ownership of the problem and to make an effort to change the culture of prejudice in the community. He is asking people to acknowledge the prejudices that exist in themselves and to work towards allyship with the Black community.


Javon Johnson’s performance raises thought-provoking ideas about the realities Black people face in society. It speaks to a greater issue of systemic racism that we need to be actively fighting against. The poem encourages us to acknowledge our prejudices and work towards a better future for all. It’s only when we recognize and address them that we can begin to move towards a more equitable society.


  1. Who is Javon Johnson?
    Javon Johnson is a professor, poet, and scholar of African American literature and culture. He is an assistant professor of African American Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  2. What is Button Poetry?
    Button Poetry is a platform that showcases the power and diversity of voices in the poetry community. The organization aims to expand poetry’s reach and develop cultural appreciation for the art form.

  3. What is “cuz he’s black?”
    “cuz he’s black” is a performance poem by Javon Johnson that explores the societal prejudice towards Black people and the difficulties they face in society.

  4. Why is it important to address societal prejudices?
    It’s important to address societal prejudices because they perpetuate inequality and hinder progress towards an equitable society. Acknowledging and addressing these prejudices is necessary to create a more inclusive community.

  5. How can we work towards addressing societal prejudices?
    We can work towards addressing societal prejudices by acknowledging our prejudices and biases and actively working towards allyship with communities that face inequality. It’s important to educate ourselves and engage in conversations that promote change.

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