We Won’t Apologize by Oni Lasana


We won’t apologize for being Black

We are natural wonders, nothing we lack

Please sir, please ma’am don’t give us no slack

Cuz, we won’t apologize


We won’t apologize for being poor

You made laws to give YOU more.

Yes, we had to be slick, wise to all tricks,

We give & give & you still want more

Shutting the door but we know the score,

So, we won’t apologize


We’ll never apologize because we bear

The beauty of Africa in our skin & hair

Lovely lips, beautiful nose, chocolate to fair

Our standard of beauty is beyond compare

And we’ll never apologize


We’ll never apologize for how we look

For all the bullets & beatings we took

Lord knows now, it’s an open book

Read our story, take a good look,

Cuz, we won’t apologize


We won’t apologize for all we gave

We never wanted to be your slave

You keep trying to send us to an early grave

But we don’t die, we multiply

So, we won’t apologize


We’ll never apologize for being caught

Our people are worth more than you thought

It was from Africa you were taught

And we won’t apologize


We’ll never apologize for all we did

We build this country, the truth YOU hid

We will spoil your unrighteous fun

Teaching lies from the power of your gun

No! We won’t apologize!


We won’t apologize to seal our fate

For being wise, for fighting hate

Because we know, we are greater than great

And we’ll never apologize


Never will we apologize & tip our hat

Til you show respect, get your knees off our necks

Haters, traitors, and jealous beasts

At our table, you came to feast

Knowing, we are NOT the least

Still, we offer you love, forgiveness, & peace

But we will never apologize!



We Won’t Apologize (c)2020 Oni Lasana

Oni Lasana has roots in Philadelphia with branches throughout the Caribbean.  She is a performing and teaching artists the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar.  Oni is a storyteller, poet, and short story published author. She was recently awarded a 2021 Webby Award for vocal talent. Currently, Oni produces Aunti Oni Story Village, a family-friendly podcast documenting multicultural stories.  

“We Won’t Apologize” was written in response to Black Lives Matter for Philly Protest Poets. It is her adaptation of Oscar Brown Jr.’s poem “I Apologize” circa (1960).