Getting named called from my own fucking community is hard.


Laugh at me

For my black shade

For my black hair

For my black face

Can’t you see it’s such a shame.


Back when I was in fifth grade


Took up the place of my name

Though the students looked just like me.

My shade goes deeper.

My roots so much closer with my parents coming by plane.

Then our ancestors coming by ships.

So, I was called


Though I’ve known nothing more than the ten block perimeter of my crumbling apartment

And I can’t even speak in my parents’ native tongue

I was still less.

Further from the desired angel face.


I told my mother of my discomfort

And she granted me a magic cream

That scrubbed away my identity



Skin lightening cream


I told mother of my discomfort

And she granted me a magic wand

That smoothed away my identity



Hot hair straightener


No one told me

I don’t need magic things

I was an angel of God’s creation.

Hair that could defy gravity and stretch towards the heavens

Skin that would shine and glow in the holy sun

No one told me

I was magic


Only told that the bright and white could be angels.

So I hid myself in the darkest clothes I could find

See that my skin isn’t as dark as it seems.

So I hid myself in order to live in the shadows and no one could harass me with


“Your the darkest one in the room”

“Dirt skin”

“Shit stain”

“Africans are all savages and barbarians”

“(clicks and clucks) Am I speaking your language?”

“Do it slave”

“Rat. Raven. Crow.”



Well we’re the ones always being tested on and plagued by ignorance and hatred



Well we live lives midnight dreary forced to ponder weak and weary



Well if there is a crowd of us, there’s bound to be a murder. Am I wrong?


In all of these I put a presence of ‘we’

Yet those names were told to me by my own community.

It seems that no one wants to look like me.

So thinking I’m an angel?

Feeling like magic?

I’m still struggling to love

My black shade

My black hair

My black face

When I’m rejected by the ones who look the closest to me.

I’m rejected by my own community.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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