Not Black Enough?

Am I not black?

My skin tone is farer

My language is different?

I don’t know slang

I don’t listen to rap


They call me

not black enough, when I am in oakland...

but when i’m in walnut creek

security just can’t leave me be


They say

I act too white

just because I speak correctly

with complete sentences

and not as much cursing


I am different

Different from a whole community

Skin tone and mannerisms make it so

that we divide ourselves even further from each other


We are breaking apart

but we need to stop

we need to begin to mend

the bonds that have been separated

We are one community

and we need to be one voice

Skin tone is what held us back in the past

but we can make it so that it leads us to a brighter future


By embracing who we are,

all of us,

as individuals

we have no boundaries


We are called

The black

african american




less than






¾ of a person



we have gone through enough

we are the future that our pasts fought for

Why do we put each other down

when we marched together in the past


We have a chance to change everything

We need to be beating stereotypes…

instead of becoming them or creating more


We can be greater than the past

make the present better

and help a future flourish


Rise to the occasion

and begin the conversation

black cannot be defined by someone else

you define who you are

So I say,

I am black

I am african American

I am no longer a slave

or a nigger

or a negro

or less than

or a spook

or a coon

or a jigaboo

or colored

or ¾ of a person

I am Halie Baker

and that…

is all I need to be

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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