by Angie Fenton
Caramel colored flesh white mother, black father Blonde hair, blue-green eyes, small, thin nose, pale, creamy skin will never be mine. Dark ebony flesh, full, sensual lips, melodic African-inspired name will never be mine.
Freshly pressed hair, neither kinky nor bone straight, worn "too white" black girls say. My words, my thoughts, my clothes, my walk "Sell out!" they scream. Black girls whose insides are freshly painted white. They see, they judge, they hate. African sisters I long to embrace will never be mine. White girls snicker, and laugh, and taunt: "Nigger, nigger." Iíll never be one of them. No. Iíll never be one of them.
Mama said Iím beautiful with my light brown skin, my big brown eyes. Daddy loved my desire for words, as I coaxed and coddled and made them mine. I saw caramel-colored flesh from White mother, black father Little nigger sellout girl inside And tried to force her out, starve her out, Stick a finger down my throat and vomit her out. I walked a fine, fine line, afraid to step left, step right.
I walked that damn fine line, fell off, and began drawing my own path, deep and thick, in the soil. Now, I feel rhythms ingrained as though music dwells in my soul. I allow summer sun to deepen the hue of my flesh. I listen to Kenny Rogers, meeting up with the Gambler, Tracy Chapman talkiní Ďbout a revolution, Ella Fitzgerald watching over me, Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, the 18th variation.
And I know words are an art, taking soft pride in my use of these instruments of life.
Sweet black-white blood Pumps strong and fresh and pure, and I know that Iím proof peace will surely come
(C) Angie Fenton
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