For the Color of My Skin

For the color of my skin should not define me

It should not set a basis for stereotypes

I should be able to walk confidently in the skin God made for me

I should be able to walk down the street and not get shot

For carrying a book mistaken for a gun

I should not have to feel afraid to call on the very people who promised to protect

And serve me

I should not have fear that my little cousins might one day become a victim

Of police brutality when all that was wrong was that their tags were suspended

I shouldn’t have to fear that my little brother will grow up in a society that will force him to become a man well before he even hits his teenage years

Or that he will have to grow up in a society that sees him as nothing more than a black man

Without knowing his story or wanting to know

For the color of my skin

Should not make someone feel uncomfortable to sit next to me on a bus

Or walk on the same side of the street as me

For the color of my skin should not make them uneasy

I should not have to be followed every time I enter a place of business

The employees worried I might steal a bag of skittles or 99 cent can of Arizona

For the color of my skin should not chase me out of an expensive store

Or mean me getting harassed by a lady asking me

“Are you just browsing or are you lost?”

Simply assuming that I cannot afford whatever is in the store

For the color of my skin.

It’s dangerous to be black

It’s even more dangerous to be black and educated

It’s even more dangerous to be black, educated, and outspoken.

We’re at war for the color of our skin and it’s not fair

That we have to pretend to wear another color

To disguise each other and be embarrassed of our roots

My skin should bring justice

They’ll say I was armed,

They’ll say I was under the influence

They say that the reason we die is justified

They say that he had a right to shoot

Hands up doesn’t matter

When really the color of my skin is a threat in itself

It’s too beautiful it’s too rich

We say

Hands up don’t shoot.

Hands up don’t shoot

They say hands up don’t move

Hands up they still shoot

And why won’t they hear me

Lord, why can’t they hear

I’m too dark to be invisible

So why don’t they see me?

I shouldn’t have to hide the color of my skin

Because they’re afraid of what I’m capable of

Which is bigger than this world

I’m capable of moving mountains

And I just pray that if I die one day because of this

I died fighting

For the color of my skin is black

And my black is beautiful.

Let us join and move together as one

And let us forever wear our black with a smile that says

I will never be put down

For the color of my skin.

 

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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