PBS NewsHour explores my poem "Hands"

"Hands" is one of my newest poems and confronts the use of social media as activism for social justice issues.

"Poet Joseph LMS Green said his poem “Hands” has been a work in progress for more than three years. He started writing it after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Although he was horrified by the killing of Martin, he was also dismayed by the reaction on social media.

“I was unaware of how social media was being used as a tool of activism. I didn’t see the Facebook and Twitter posts as acts of solidarity. I thought it was people seeking popularity by using buzzwords and hashtags.”

But a year after he initially wrote the poem, he was challenged by a poetry slam coach to use a different lens. As he talked to black activists, he realized that social media was being used as a powerful way to bring people together."

Article by Mary Jo Brooks

Joseph Green