In the aftermath of the violence that shook America last week, a  poem written and performed by an Atlanta teenager this past spring, has been getting new attention. In fact, it has gone viral.

“White Boy Privilege” was an entry in a school poetry contest.

“To be honest I am scared of what it would be like if i wasn’t on the top rung, if the tables were turned, and I didn’t have my white boy privilege safety blanket to protect me,” Royce Mann recited at the poetry contest.


“I love it because when I see a police officer, I see someone who’s on my side,” he recited.


After Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Mann’s poem struck a nerve online.

Many loved it. Others attacked him.

More than eight million people have seen it.

“Everyone should have the privileges that I have,” Mann recited. “Everyone’s story should be written so all they have to do is get it read… I get that change can be scary but equality shouldn’t be…”

Mann said he is not asking anyone to give up their dreams.

“I am not asking anyone to give up their quality,” he said. “When you see something that is wrong, that is discrimination, speak up.”

He finished his poem with talking about fear.

“It’s time to let go of that fear,” he recited. “It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge.”

Mann won that poetry contest.