General Poetry posted September 17, 2020


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Story about being Black in America

The Skin We're In

by the13thpoet

Intro...

I have a story to tell, but where do I begin?
It's a story about what it's like living in The Skin We're In
If your skin is white you may not have given this much thought
But us Blacks know the unspoken rules and the lessons we were taught
And no matter how many times and ways we try to explain it
Some of you will never get it
And frankly you don't have to
A prime example of white privilege
To you only your life matters, but Black Lives Matter too
Just imagine how you would feel if injustice and racism turned on you
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Talk...

My child I need to tell you something
But I don't know where to begin
"Mama, what is it about?"
It's about the color of your skin

"Mama, I don't understand
Is my skin alright?"
Yes my child your skin is fine
But there are rules if it's not white
"But Mama don't we all have skin?
Why aren't the rules the same?"
My dear child please sit down
This won't be easy to explain

This started hundreds of years ago
Way back in the days
"Mama do you mean back when
Black people still were slaves?"

Yes that's exactly what I mean
I was about to get to that
"Mama, if our skin is brown
Why do they call us Black?"

Well my child I'll take a guess
Though I'm not so sure
But I think 'cause Black means dirty and sinful
And white means clean and pure

"Mama why's everything Black considered bad?
This just doesn't seem right
Especially since the worse things
Are often done by whites"
Well if they convince everyone we're bad
Then no one will care how they treat us
Now they just hate and discriminate
Back then they hung and beat us

"But Mama Slavery is over
Aren't Blacks free today?"
Baby we will never be free
Until liberty and justice comes our way

We're only free to work 'til death
Only able to go so far
Free to brave this ghetto poverty
And accept things the way they are

If we ask for equality
They say all we do is complain
They think they're superior
And want us to think the same

"Mama why do they hate us?
I just don't understand
If they don't like our brown skin
Then why they always getting tans?
Mama I have another question."
What is it my child?
"If we're the inferior ones
Why do they always copy our style?"

Those are good questions my child
They almost make me laugh
Inside of us is something they want
Something most of them don't have

You see we were built a little different
A little more passion, rhythm and soul
Something they couldn't beat out of us
Something that can't be bought or sold

For hundreds of years we were slaves
They cared nothing of the freedom they took
Now they're scared of what may happen
If the shoe was on the other foot


Using fear and violence to keep control
Is their only solution
'Cause they're the ones who live in fear
Of revenge and retribution

They burned our homes and towns to the ground
Whipped us and hung us from a noose
Now they live in fear of Karma
Scared the chickens will come home to roost

'Cause even though slavery was over
We really weren't any freer
Slave patrols became police officers
The new legal overseers

Though we thought we were finally free
It really wasn't the time
When the overseers became police
Being Black became a crime
Thrown in jail for being Black
Often leased back to the plantation
Slavery just turned into
Jim Crow and segregation

To keep us poor and separate from them
Became their new plan
And to strike fear into the hearts of Black people
They formed the Klu Klux Klan

Soon leaders began to emerge
To help us change our plight
They began to organize and protest
And fight for our civil rights

"But Mama ain't we still protesting?"
Yes baby, and it's just a shame
Unfortunately the more things change
The more they stay the same
From overseers in the fields
Enforcing their slave control
To police officers cruising the streets
On constant nigger patrol

Ropes and whips replaced by handcuffs and bullets
And here's something else they won't mention
An unarmed Black man killed by cops
Is a form of modern-day lynching

But a change is in the air
It's something they can't avoid
In fact they helped accelerate change
With the murdering of George Floyd

And there are so many more names
Too many to list them
To them Black Lives don't Matter
And nobody will miss them
At first no one wanted to believe us
Eventually they changed their minds
All it took was another Black man
Getting murdered in real time

Now the world is outraged
Murder by cops just isn't right
Especially when an unarmed man
Begs and pleads for his life

So finally change is on the way
But it's not here just yet
Until then don't make any sudden moves
'Cause they see you as a threat

So keep your hands where they can see them
Way up in the sky
Do what they say or end up dead
For failure to comply

Change hasn't come yet
So they will continue to treat us wrong
But my child we can survive
If we remain strong

Mama took a deep breath
And slowly let out a sigh
As her eyes began to water
He said, "Mama don't you cry"

I just want you to live in a world
Where we're not judged by our skin
"Mama I know and I understand
And I love The Skin We're In"



Share A Story In A Poem contest entry

Recognized

#131
2020


I just want to take this time to say that I too really believe all lives matter. Black lives matter isn't about our lives mattering more than anyone else. If this country/system really believed our lives mattered then we wouldn't have to say it. We would have the same equality, fairness, and justice under the law as white people do and we would get the benefit of innocents until proven guilty. But anyone with eyes to see and empathy for their fellow man knows that is just not the case. I know some people get defensive or take offense to some of my work. Some say they agree and want the rioting and looting to stop. Well we want the inequality, injustice, and killing of unarmed black people to stop. I don't condone rioting or looting, but buildings, jobs, and property can be fixed and replaced. Once a life is gone, it's gone forever and when it's taken so violently and unjustly it leaves DEEP SCARS that linger for years and years. We've been fighting for civil rights since the 60s how many more decades must past before we can experience what this country promises all. ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. Well those words don't mean shit if we aren't seen or treated as equal. For black this country was NEVER GREAT! This is just a place of empty promises and broken dreams and yet I still love this country!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.


© Copyright 2021. the13thpoet All rights reserved.
the13thpoet has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.