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My Skin Isn’t Black

My skin isn’t black; it’s brown.
Brown like the earth, the soil, the ground,
That precedes the life you see all around,
That feeds the trees, and flowers, and mounds.
That’s full of treasure – until it’s been found;
My skin paints your world with jewels and crowns.
How often do your eyes look down?
Who’d have thought brown so profound?

My skin isn’t black; it’s golden.
Like the coins that line your pockets swollen;
Gold like the sun to which we’re all beholden.
A tapestry where cultures, at the seams, are woven.
Yet swift as a kiss, my culture was stolen,
While hatred, that once slumbered, emboldened.
As the currency my skin was once bought and sold in,
Who can determine the true cost of golden?

My skin isn’t black; it’s red.
Red from bruises, burns, bloodshed
Like the love and passion that once filled my head,
As the anger and pain that live there instead.
The pursed lips of a stranger who wishes me dead,
The silence of another’s anguish that mutes my dread,
My skin is a patchwork of words left unsaid.
There’s an awful lot left to be said of red.

Black isn’t a colour; it’s the absence of light.
Black is the darkness where white is the bright.
I can see why your skin is akin to what’s right.
White speaks of purity and black evokes fright.
But my skin represents perseverance and might.
My skin is a rainbow, of glorious sight.
But rainbows don’t work in the darkness of night.
See, my skin isn’t black; and nor is yours white.


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