Oreo

 

All my life I have gotten used to being called an “Oreo”

Not an “Oreo” as in the deliciously cream-filled snack

No. But an Oreo as in the stripping away of any blackness in order to claim my traits as inherently “white”


Family members would tell me to turn down my “white people music”


They’d ask me if I was finally dating a white guy with a name like Billy Bob or Timothy


I used to think Oh that’s nice that they don’t see me as “one of those” black people


I would disassociate myself from the word “black” because I had grown up with only negative connotations of it


No one had ever told me tales of all the creative black people of the past

For years I was spoon-fed sad statistics instead of victories

I thought that as long as I am considered to be an "Oreo"- I could never be racially profiled


But I was wrong. 
I still got questions in school like

“Can you teach me how to twerk?” And

“Do you even know who your real dad is?”


Luckily I found outlets for people of color who felt the same way I did

These people were creators, poets, geniuses

And the best part is that they didn’t denounce their blackness

They’ve taught me that being black and “alternative” can be possible

That we as humans are made of complex interwoven threads

And the beauty of these threads is that none of them are the same

Individually they are unique but together they complete rich patterns


I had been conditioned all along to believe that my people were only capable of crimes and failure

I had grown up thinking that black was synonymous with thug


That black was synonymous with poor


That black was synonymous with anger


But now I know that black can be anything and everything
So do not call me an "Oreo"

Because I've grown enough in these short few years of adolescence to no longer fear my blackness or the tides that come with it

This poem is about: 
Me

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