Brown Skin

The Present
“Why don’t you go rub fried chicken on yourself? You’d probably like it.” He sneers.
“Stop acting like an Oreo. Black on the outside, white on the inside.” She laughs. Hard.
“Black people live in the ghetto .They’re poor.” They say.
“What’s the difference between a pizza and a black person? A pizza can feed a family.”
“I’m glad I don’t have skin like yours. It’s dirty.”

These are the things I have to go through. These are the things people say to me. Just because I’m different. Just because my skin is black and other people’s are white. You would think that this was over. If this is still happening, all of Malcolm X’s, Martin Luther King’s, Rosa Park’s, and many other’s hard work goes to waste. But I’m not going to say it has. Because it hasn’t. I am no ones slave. I am free. But there is and will always be prejudice.
Kindergarten (The past)
I was happy. I ran like the wind everyday, a happy, happy kid. I went over to my friend’s houses or they came over to mine and we would watch spongebob while sitting on a couch eating shell Mac and Cheese. We would hide under blankets and build forts with tables while telling our life stories by a dimly lit candle. We ran and played kickball everyday at recess even when it was freezing. We would swing from the money bars, hands free and braids swinging. We made circles under big green trees, on rolling lush fields, pledging to be friends forever. We talked and giggled and gossiped about the cutest boys. But that was before reality hit me.

One day, a girl walked up to me and said, “Why is your skin so weird?”
I looked at her like she was crazy. My skin was perfectly normal. “What?” I asked, confused.
“Take a look yourself. It isn’t like mine.” She tipped her head to one side, blond hair falling, blue eyes curious. I stretched my arm out and pushed back my sleeve. I almost didn’t want to look. I thought my arm was going to be a one-eyed, 12-toed sloth with missing teeth. It was worse. It was brown. I stared in amazement. It was BROWN. I barely ever looked in mirror and I assumed myself to have white skin like everyone else. I couldn’t believe it. I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My round, chubby, face stared back at me. My owl-glasses were crooked and frizzy tendrils of hair hung in my face. I was still brown. Maybe it was just dirt. I took some soap and scrubbed, wishing my skin to turn white. It didn’t. I just wanted to be like everyone else and I started to cry. How could I live whole life being this naïve?? How?! I returned to recess, the sad truth in my eyes.

The next few years, I realized I had lost my innocence in a way. My friends and I would try crazy hairstyles or do weird things to our hair and I realized my hair wouldn’t sit the way theirs did. Whenever we gossiped about who likes who, it was awkward if I liked someone who was white. I still ran like the wind and played kickball but reality was still in the back of my brain, lurking, waiting, to show itself once more.





Beauty (The Future)
I look in the mirror
and I see beauty
staring back at me.
Round face a little sharper,
lips more full,
body slimmer,
legs longer,
hair thicker.
Skin Browner.
Reality is present, no longer being ignored
my skin is Brown
I am
Black
and
I look in the mirror
and I see beauty staring
back at me.





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