It's Not Easy Being Black


United States
33° 59' 35.9736" N, 118° 23' 55.6224" W

And Kermit the Frog said
It’s not easy being green
Well being black isn’t easy either
I don’t blend in with the grass and the leaves
But I stand out in seas of ivory
Sometimes I get stares of disgust
Or confusion
And sometimes the sale’s woman watches too closely
As I pass down the aisles

It’s not easy being black
When I watch television
And I see the faces of people that aren’t like me
Selling me jeans and cars
Children’s toys and mops
And when a black face does appear
They play the part of sassy and stereotypical
And their voices have a twang

It’s not easy being black
When I look back on being a little girl
And I hated myself
And I wanted to be white
So I’d tell people I was really light-skinned
That I barely looked black at all
Because that would make me more beautiful in their eyes
But they’d see I was lying, as they glanced at my arms and face
“No you’re not.” They’d say
And my heart would be broken

But, Kermit says, he loves himself
Even though life isn’t easy

And I love myself too
Because I see being black as having strength
And that strength is what I see in my grandmother’s eyes
And it reminds me that even though
It’s not easy being black
It’s something I should cherish and love
And appreciate

So to my younger self
I say be proud
Not ashamed
And hold your head high
Learn about your history
Cringe at your people’s horrible past
And then smile
Because their strength is in your blood
And that makes you beautiful, too


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