I’ve been sitting on this for a while now, so I guess it’s finally time to write this down. See…I grew up with a BLACK grandmother who never had a frown. Nana told me to always keep my head up…never let THEM catch you with your head down. Nana always told me that I had three odds against me. What’s that you might ask? Nana said I’m a girl. Nana said I’m a black girl. Nana said I’m a thick black girl. Which is why I have to understand why I had to work three times as hard in this THIN WHITE WORLD. That’s fine. What’s a little hard work anyway? But as I sit on the back on this shuttle bus in a sea full of white, “Dre, I got something to say…..”
It makes no damn sense for me to sit here beside Snow WHITE. Hmph. For all I know, she could be my cousin. As if being the thick BLACK girl ain’t enough, now I have to face these grim smiles and half-ass hand shakes…the awkward spaces…and these other BLACK faces that act as if we didn’t come from the same places. Okay, I get it. There’s even these COLOR‘izms within minorities. The way LIGHT SKIN women toss their hair at me as if this thick BLACK girl is nothing worth to see. Damn. Who knew even my own COLOR would be against me? Not only are the asians bombrushing me for class seats…It’s my own BLACK girls who can just walk by and not even speak. Not even the slightest head nod. You know like the nod the WHITE people give us because we’re not even worthy of a parting of their lips. Hmph. They think I never notice how their first look is at my DARK skin,…and their second look is at my wide hips. God…..I could never question why’d you make me black…but I’ll always wonder when I’ll be equal. Why LIGHT SKIN can often seem like the original, and this DARK skin is nothing but a sequel? Why my own men could ever lay down in a bed with the slave master’s daughter…why BLACK is too loud now to ever court her. I could go on and on all day about how color really does matter…because it’s true. Remember na’, this is coming from the thick BLACK girl in this thin WHITE world…where “WHITE is right” and BLACK men are criminals and will rape you. Where WHITE men wear tailored suits and BLACK men wear orange suits. Where WHITE girls get DARK tans and BLACK girls get LIGHT weaves. That’s just how much COLOR really means. We’re on a field fighting in combat each day over COLOR…because they wanna be us and we just wanna “fit” with them…and day by day….COLOR wins. I went to work with WHITE people who lovingly embraced the new ASIAN. There I just sat as the thick BLACK girl I was…Always killing them with a smile. Always killing them with grace…but in my head I don’t understand why WHITE people can’t look me in my face? Can’t stare too long in my eyes…yet manage to be disgusted by my big thighs. At least, that’s how it felt this one time I competed in a swim meet. I stepped on the diving block in my one piece…and all the WHITE eyes in the crowd were on me. I could hear everything…and at that moment…COLOR made this thick BLACK girl feel like utterly nothing….until the buzzer sounded (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!)…and it was time to go. All eyes watched me…like it was a circus show…and as I swam hard for last place…I could see those same WHITE faces saying, “GO…..GO…..GO!” I could see those same WHITE faces smiling at my endurance…cheering on my patience….but satisfied by my loss. Nonetheless, I thought just then COLOR…just maybe…COLOR no longer had to be the boss. But, that died quickly. Because, it’s not reality…COLOR will always be EQUALITY’S biggest enemy. COLOR will separate me from “Jenny down the block.” COLOR will break up the happy couple that’s being told to stop. COLOR will build up pretty hair and tear down afros. COLOR will allow white girls to wear blue hair and tell black girls “NO!” COLOR will always darken prison cells yet lighten Wall Street. COLOR will fire gun shots during city sweeps. COLOR put Rodney King in a casket before Trayvon ate his skittles or ever had the chance to drink his Arizona Tea. COLOR shitted on Philando Castile…COLOR ALWAYS finds the white suspects “NOT GUILTY.” COLOR will always matter. Just ask the Charleston 9. We celebrate “our COLOR” but do we think about how COLOR just sometimes ain’t that divine? Do we realize the lackluster of COLOR in this society? There’s no reason that “COLOR” should have us wondering if one day our sons or brothers will die on our American streets. COLOR. It looks at our men as Uncle Tom….and our women, Aunt Jemima. All these COLOR’izms…It’s too much if we’re truly supposed to be “the land of the free.” Free. Hmph. COLOR ain’t nothin’ but 21st century slavery. I don’t want anyone scared of my COLOR. I just want them scared of ME…and only ME.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rests in COLOR.