You Don’t See My Race, Really?

 

 

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto“, or “I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”- Terance, a former slave who became a well-known playwright in ancient Rome.

 

You don’t see my race, really?
Do I need to glow in my dark skin
Articulate bioluminescence?
Was there a meeting to ascertain navigation in communication?
“The N-word is vulgar, we have to tip-toe or appear, you know.
What do we do?  What if we said we don’t see race…”

You must see my race, it’s a necessity.
Like saying you don’t see the brightness of the sun
Or the blue of the ocean.
My skin tone is not invisible, it is vital you see me.
See me as I am, as I was created.
Fully, wonderfully, beautifully black.
Fully human and standing with you.
Seeing my race doesn’t make you racist
It makes you human.

Our relationships are messy and we say the wrong things.
An attempt to sterilize our dialogue
Is a castration of our communication.
Talking about it tends to bring us together
Than avoidance.

Yes, who I am is more than melanin.
Let us celebrate our similarities.
Let us learn from our differences.
Let us revel in our triumphs
And grieve in our tragedies.

We are human.
We are brothers.
We are sisters.
I am not other than you, see my skin color, but don’t identify me by it.
That is why I have a name. 
I am not invisible.
I am here.  And I matter.
And so do you.  

 

 

[Poem #147]

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