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The Voice of My Generation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   My mother gave birthto me in the middle of a cotton field. The cotton was so soft and so white. Mytiny dark fingers compressed the white puff but when I released it, it onlyunfolded and grew back to its original size. In the colorless wind it blew away.The cotton blew away.

Then, I grew from an infant into a child. I ralliedgroups back to Africa to take hold of their roots again. In America I had noroots to grab. So I decided to take a seat in the back or the middle or thefront. Yes, it was the front seat where I drove the world into the face ofchange. Then, I protested and gave speeches and protested. Someone shot me rightin the throat, and my words began to bleed and cry. My words did not die. I amthe Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. of my generation. I ama teenager who takes pride in the roots of my generation.

My generation isthe first to reap the benefits of pioneers speaking against injustice, racialinequality and prejudice. It is from my generation that I have learned to dismissoutward appearances and invite the human spirit into my life.

Most of mylife I attended a school where the students were predominately African American.My community, church and friends were the same. Then, my surroundings made achange. I began to attend a school where my race was no longer the majority.

I stepped into the real world. I saw less of the people who physicallywere me. Students not of my race spoke to me with such joy, life and blindness.These people did not see my appearance. My generation spoke into me, and over theyears I developed the ability to see and speak into them and into all of mypeople. If my race laughs, another race laughs. If I cry, another person criesjust the same. We hurt and experience pain, life and death with the same humanheart. Death is the last place we realize what

matters. It is the lastplace that forces us to realize the mirrors of reflection we are to one another.Culture, skin and appearances are erased at death.

When I think of death,I think of the heavenly world beyond this imperfect earth. In heaven, only thosewho possess a loving spirit and not an obsession with physical appearance willdwell. Perhaps the variety of colored flesh is made to seem like a barrier amongthe races. When the barrier is broken with a hug or a smile or a word, thenheaven smiles to know the races can dwell in its midst for an eternity. Color isonly a barrier if we put it there. Color should not be thought of as anotherobstacle that makes life difficult.

Along with the realities of life anddeath is the fact that so many people in generations before never broke thebarrier to understand other races. If they had, they would know that there isnothing to understand - because we are alike. We are all human. Although allpeople are not willing to disregard race, my generation is proof that segregationcannot last forever. I fail to understand why race ever came to matter, why pastgenerations failed to see my race as true people or more than mere dark-skinnedoutcasts. But, I am proud to say that I stand, laugh and cry with the descendantsof all races. I am proud to have broken the barrier.

My mother gave birthto me in a field of cotton, but I will die in a field of multi-colored flowersfrom the core of the earth. I rally groups to the fields to make new roots tograb hold of. We are the new roots. I sit neither behind nor in front of myfellow people. No, we sit together and drive into the face of change. I write andspeak and write. My pen begins to tell and bleed and tell. My words are alive andtravel through the colorless air. I am the voice of equality, justice, peace andlife. I am the voice of my generation.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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mathwiz94 said...
Sept. 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm
this is great but not what i am really looking for thanks any way'
 
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