The Shade Of It All.


Take a deep breath.

You can do this.




Search for the shade.




Getting to my shade.

Almost at my shade.


It's not there.

The shade,

Is that they don't have my shade.

Isn't it funny?

Some make-up companies Ray Charles me

And ignore me,

But for other people, 

My rich shade is all

That people see from me.

I'm an educated queen,

Yet people think I'm keen

For my shade

To be all that is seen of me.

The shade of it all.


In a previous time,

Locked in the Pandora's box

In my mind,

I was sentenced

To a daily verbal stoning

In the playground,

Or the classroom,

By people 

That should have understood me,

That should have held my hand,

That should have stood by me.

But no,

They threw stones.

Cold, hard stones.

Made stronger

By the depth of colourism

And hidden self-hate

That is just as deep

As the colour of my skin.

How could they see my skin

As anything more

Than plain ugly,

When the tainted mirror of society

Refused and still refuses

To reflect my image,

In its shattered frame

Of idealistic beauty?

How could they see me

As beautiful,

When the phrase:

"You're pretty for a dark skin girl"


Dark skin cannot equal prettiness

The same way that 2+2 does not equal 5

In their eyes.


Being dark skinned and pretty,

Is not a chemical equation

That you have to balance on both sides

For it to make sense.

So ashes to ashes,

Dust to dust,

Let this crusty phrase,

Go back to the grave

Of other dead phrases

That nobody should say.


Moving on.

The invisible blood

That I shed,

Every single time I was beaten

With those stones,

Was tainted with the blood

Of my ancestors,

Who went through 

The same damn treatment,

From hands significantly lighter

Than our own hands.

Not covered by the dirt

Of the menial tasks

Our ancestors were forced to do,

But coated in a potent mixture:

Our blood,

Our sweat,

Our tears.


Just a dash

Of unjustified, harrowing murders.

And yes,

The physical chains

May be broken,

But the mental chains

From slavery,

Have become stronger than ever.

Almost unbreakable.

Stop focusing on my damn skin.

How about we focus

On how bullets

Love to penetrate

This dark skin?

Or how about we focus 

On how our skin,

Our ancestry,

Our names,

Makes society create

A dark skin Himalayas,

That some people can't climb.

That kills some people

Before they even reach

The halfway mark.

Or even better,

How about we focus

On the fact that our blood

Is still being openly enslaved

In 2017.

In the 21st Century.

In the "modern" world.



My skin is beautiful.


It may be flowing

With rich melanin,

But my mind is overflowing

With wisdom

That I try to feed you

To bring yourself

Out from the thirst of ignorance.

If you choose to drink

From ignorant minds,

I'd like to say

That it's not my business.

But when you try and taint

My mind,

Society's mind

That my skin is ANYTHING

Other than



Or acceptable,

Then baby boy,

Baby girl,

We're gonna have problems.


I want people to see me.


My skin is a part of me,

But I want you to see ME.

The only people

That should take a good look 

At my shade,

Are these make-up companies,

That are still trying it

In 2017,

With their 50 shades of beige.

But you?

I want you to see my intelligence,

My inner beauty,

My happy demeanour,

My sweet nature.

Just see me for what I am:

A queen;

That still has a long way to go

To achieve all that she can be.

This poem is about: 
My community


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