Story of a Little Black Girl
I was three.
Socks up to knees.
Posed in front of trees.
Mom saying cheese.
School wasn't ready for me.
My hair was braided.
Entire day calculated.
Rode in the car... Waited.
As anxious to learn as could be!
Walked into class.
All polite, sweet, and sass,
No one... Looked like... Me,
Because you see,
They all stopped and stared.
Asked about my hair.
Had they never seen anyone like me?
School day went on.
Did I do something wrong?
Guilty of minority.
Skips a decade.
Registering for school with grades.
A couple B's the rest A's
Standard test scores insane!
96's and 98's!
No record, clean slate!
Did she type that for me!
Where MY eyes could see?
I wished I could scream!
I asked her why?
She said it's something I should try.
Ha! You're out of your mind!
I see your system! Do I look blind?!
I will NOT BE
The object of your bullying.
Oppressed to give you authority.
Burning and tucking under my curls to fit into your society.
I will NOT be
Your typical stereotype of what you think is a black girl.
I won't tarnish the pattern of my curls.
Turn in my native chains for your pearls.
And just to set the record straight,
Gold chains didn't come from hip hop rappers,
But pretty brown skin on the edge of African borders.
Sipping on coconuts and getting high on cocoa beans the size of quarters.
And don't give me your spiel
On how slavery is over and segregation isn't real
When white kids sit with white kids and blacks with blacks
I'm fighting for fair treatment by a white lady in heels.
Don't tell me it's just a joke, you're playing.
When you tell me blacks love fried chicken and watermelon.
Because I will not laugh.
I will not be told to not be so touchy.
When a black man is shot and the news features a puppy.
And a white man shoots he's mental,
But when a black man shoots he's lethal.
Because we are not equal.
And it is not fair.
I'm the only black girl in my honors classes.
Because MTV told my people, "Be strippers and rappers."
While every doctor and lawyer portrayed had the complexion of milk and vanilla.
Every video vixen was light skinned like Manila folders.
So I identified with them until I looked in my mirrors.
I was taller and darker and curlier and thinner.
I didn't fit in with their people or my people either.
Because my skin was sienna and my hair was thicker.
So who was I to believe?
My Daddy convincing me I was born a Queen.
Or the 1,000's of pictures on TV?
One of them had to be wrong... Clearly.
Walk too mean.
Because I've come to be,
Appreciative of my mahogany family tree.
Loved by those who accept the spring,
In my curls and the light I had dimmed,
For extremely too long to try to fit in,
To America's idea of sexy.
Because on a continent far away from me
I am a queen.
Somewhere in the motherland my spirit roams.
Sipping from coconuts mixed with rum.
Dancing with the sun to the beat of a drum.
Laughing with God about the foolish I've done.
Shaming what he created in his perfection.
Changing it to avoid society's rejection.
Binging and starving to have a big butt and a tiny waist.
Not realizing that those things were not to be in place.
At the age of 9 or 11 or 38.
Because we are not carbon copies of the images we face.
And I wish I could tell you it's over,
That the memory is erased,
But the issue is there everyday in front of my face.
My little Lynn is 11.
And from the age of 7,
She's come to ask me questions.
Why couldn't her hair have a curl softer?
Why couldn't she be born a white man's daughter?
By the white boys in her school she is not sought after.
By the black boys in her school she is not sought after.
Because that is unacceptable.
She is unacceptable.
We are not acceptable.
So she is confused.
Led to wishing she could choose,
Another look, a different face.
Like the rest of our daughters of this race.
"So stop!!!" I beg the toxic media pictures.
Replace your thoughts of race with equality and scripture.
"And QUIT!!!" I ask you stubborn people of America.
Do not neglect my future daughter but do cherish her.
Take her for her curls and her cocoa skin.
Please acknowledge the skin we're in.