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Hidden Behind a Black Mask

I act like it doesn’t exist
That my brown skin doesn’t ring some bell of difference in your mind
Like no certain judgments pass through your thoughts when I open my mouth to speak
But then when you read my name with its nineteen letters imported from Nigeria
And you realize that I am even more different than you thought
Browner than brown and blacker than black
African not African-American
I look you in the eye behind your white mask
Your pale white skin rings a bell of my past, present, and future
You surround me, but with no embrace
And yet I still find the strength to act like it doesn’t exist
We all act like it doesn’t exist, but it still does and it always will
At least for me it will



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