What’s Going On?

July 8, 2020

By: John Kind, The Loop Lab

We were lucky enough to be introduced to John via our funded project the Loop Lab, a Cambridge-based non-profit social enterprise specializing in media arts internships and digital storytelling. The mission is to empower Womxn and People of Color in media arts to develop careers in audio/video through job training and job placement. John told us “I’m trained on how to professionally develop my creative career so that I am empowered to be effective at delivering on quality and making a positive impact with my work. Personally, I am moved by a search for deeper meaning. My artistry is a tool which allows me to discover hidden truths, and my hope is that other people will be moved by my art to dig deeper for themselves.”


A photo essay by John Kind June 2020 Boston, MA



Ghost of children laughing,
Our kids are always missing, this always happens,
The playground is the fountain of youth,
Black kids racing to happiness,
Kicking gravel up under their shoes,
Might not be that very significant to you,
But our children have very little things to do,
Failed by public schools,
Teachers with degrees,
 But can’t tell weather to be warm to you,
Or treat me differently,
Because I come from a different background than you,
We learn more from each other,
The playground,
Where long term friends are made with one another,
Disease has never been a new storm, 
Life can be cold, but tears in hospital rooms are lukewarm, 
I’m raising a 4 year old in a social distanced world, 
But what will the distance mean for the life of a Black little girl?   
Hoping for a day where she and other kids like her will be embraced, 
See her for her character, 
Beyond the shade of color on her face,   
A day that will be less dangerous for her to hug her friends, 
What will we leave behind for the children in the end? 



Dreams of living life above the rim we admire those that score,
Find their way out of hell and inspire you to do more,
We see them stretch their limbs as far as they need to,
Never recycle moves that you already seen them do,
No coaching or anyone to guide talent,
Gifted with Darwinism between the “haves” and “haven’t”, You’re gonna have to have skills for your college to be valid!
People voting on your dream with ballots,
To live and fight for your life on the basketball court,
Strategizing for survival and for the sake of the sport ,
Outsmarting opponents with a flashy grin, 
You never see black boy joy until you see him win, 
Ruined a lot of dreams when the city took down the rims, 
 Shouts of Kobe’s name lost in the wind,
Ballers have drive and soul in their eye, 
 Ballers drive their soles hard enough for sneakers to cry,
Rest peace to all the ballers that can reach the sky,  
 And much love to the ballers that haven’t let the dream die.



How long will it take to inspire change?
A long unanswered question,
We understand it now to be about 8 minutes and 46, seconds,
Or did it take hundreds of years of oppression?
I wonder if the world genuinely wants to learn its lesson?
We’re peeking behind the veil of humanity,
Defining and challenging it’s sanity,
Do we truly seek peace as a species?
Can we cease war without treaties?
I feel punished for existing,
You tell us to pull ourselves up by our boot strings just to hang us with it,
Admitting the truth at this point isn’t enough to fix it, 
 Imagine, having a skin color that represents something else,
Why does it feel like you can’t hear me but you can hear everyone else? 
The words can’t seem to connect in your mind, 
All the windows of opportunity 
were left opened wide,
Yet you couldn’t let a gentle breeze of emotion inside, 
Seems like you’re indifferent,
To whether I lived or died, 
You can’t look past your own ego,
You’re lost in your own sense of pride,      
How many times have Black people tried to communicate?
Find ways to co-exist, stand up and liberate?
Innovate, create new styles for you to imitate?
Gave you Dr. King give
 an example of humanity to demonstrate,
And yet this land of the free 
is not motivated enough for my freedom,
I can read the fine print 
my peace will come in pieces.



Fists rising like budding roses of power,
Bloomed into an open hand in the night hour,
No one feels too short to reach for the sky,
High enough to meet an eagle eye,
So much at risk to unify yet we still rise,
Demanding the truth, we’re all sick of living in lies,
Why does every great idea come with a cynical reply?
Afraid of what you don’t understand,
So you play devil’s advocate to oversimplify,
And there’s no way you can advocate for someone,
Without being on the same side,
Racism isn’t a Black issue it’s a mental health concern, 
We always wanted to heal this nation now we’re watching it all burn, 
 Is there hope for the future, or is that still forbidden?
Is this a trend, or will the world grow more driven? 
The revolution will NOT be televised! 
That was Gil Scott Heron’s word, 
 The truth doesn’t need you to emphasize,
You just have to be willing to hear it when it’s time to be heard. 


. . .

Hailing from New England, John Kind is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist with a unique approach to his blend of hip-hop, poetry, and existentialism. He has been writing poetry since the age of 9 years old and continues to perfect his craft and grow as an artist. He’s performed locally around Boston and is currently focused on expanding his presence in areas outside of his home city. His sound is comparable to the authenticity and soulful feel of great Hip-Hop performers such as Lupe Fiasco and J-Cole. His writing is inspired by real world concepts and mental health challenges. It is all about connecting with the listeners through story-telling, uplifting melodies, and thought-provoking lyricism.

Social Media: @Jiskind