Dark Enough

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 23:47 -- artessa


I’ve always felt the need to be lighter

In my 6th grade they always called me black girl

They said my dark skin would never be as beautiful as their almond colored flesh

I believed them

Who could ever want to love a girl as dark as me

When I didn’t even love myself

I’ve always felt the need to wear weave

In 7th grade they called me bald head

They said since my natural short hair didn’t reach past my shoulders like their beautiful waves and braids back then

That I wasn’t pretty

And I believed every single word

I’ve always felt the need to act white

In 8th grade I transferred to a new school and got told

I’m not black enough

With my cocoa colored skin

And my short textured hair

People have always told me what I needed

teeth as white as snow

Eyes big and brown and full

But inside there was so much youth, sadness, hurt and confusion

Why are these people telling me what I am and am not

I thought to myself

 How after all these years I’ve been told I’m not light enough for the people around me how could these people say that I am not black enough

How do I prove my blackness

How do I fulfill this need to be accepted?

They say I talk to white

That I don’t act black

My initial response is can’t you act a color

And if you could I’m certain I would be red

Like the need of crooked cops to kill

blood spilled from innocent teens shot to death because they were too black

I would be red like bathroom floors with girls sitting trying to scrape of the skin they don’t love anymore because they are too black

I would be red like ancestors stripped of their clothes and beaten to a bloody pulp

My great great great grandmother was an in house slave

Because she was light enough to be trusted

Light enough to not be as harshly punished but she was still black

She was still enslaved

Like our mindsets

Think about it, another boy or girl with skin as dark as tar

Or skin as light as caramel or almonds

Another boy or girl

Secluded by barriers will be shot, or killed or murdered or bullied

Or feel a need to strip off the color of their skin

For a new beginning

A changed fate

Who could live in a society plaguing its people

A manmade system

Feel the need to conform

But I won’t

So to the people in my 6h, 7th, and 8th grade class

I’m proud of my skin

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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