US inner cities are rife with violence, racism and poverty. That toxic stress is hard enough for some African Americans growing up there. But when there’s also a national conversation about how much Black Lives Matter, developing a healthy sense of self can be an even greater challenge. The Stream’s Femi Oke and Malika Bilal ask students from Baltimore and Chicago how they’re realising their potential.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to: 

Jordan Willis

13-year-old Baltimore resident
Kristin Willis
Jordan Willis's mother, Baltimore resident

Chima Ikoro @Chima_Naira
Chicago high school student, slam poet 

Antwon Funches @Funches_Antwon
Chicago high school student, slam poet

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