Fourteen-year-old Atlanta-native Royce Mann has received national attention for addressing these social issues. His poem "White Boy Privilege," which he performed during a contest in May, has gone viral after it was shared on YouTube two weeks ago.
Recited entirely from memory, he starts his poem by apologizing to people who are not “a middle or upper class white boy.”
“I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung,” he says. “I say now that I would change places with you in an instant, but if given the opportunity, would I? Probably not.”
Though he admits that “being privileged is awesome,” he made a call for change against inequality and encouraged white men to be strong and make a difference.
“It’s time to let go of that fear. It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge.”
Actress Taraji P. Henson shared the video with her 4.22 million Twitter followers, writing: “#TheTRUTH GOD BLESS THIS LITTLE BRAVE ANGEL!!!”
Royce is also a professional child actor and has played the role of Gina Gershon’s son in the feature film “The Lookalike” and starred in several film shorts on the festival circuit.
According to his Facebook page, Royce is currently in the pre-Broadway premiere of the musical “Zorro” at the Alliance Theatre playing the role of young Diego.
If you haven't seen Royce perform "White Boy Privilege," you can see the full video below. Warning: There is some explicit language in poem, so you might want to use headphones.