I refuse to be judged by the color of my slightly brown skin; by my hair which is reminiscent to winter worn wool; by my full lips; by my pudgy nose; by my flawed frame which has been linked to emulate Egyptian queens; by my voice of reason; or by my ancestors’ past. God, why did you place me in this skin … this burlap … this discounted and discontinued fabric? This skin (labeled as “black” or “negro” or “colored”), I can’t wash it off … I can’t even break the thread.
As I take a mental escapade, I envision my childhood in December of 1985. I can see my eight year old self standing in front of a window watching the “white” children play in the rain (screaming, laughing, shouting, jumping in and out of puddles, playing hide and go-seek, and running from each other). I couldn’t go outside because my mom spent several hours straightening my hair with a pressing comb and Dax pressing oil. I can still hear the “sizzle” from the comb as the teeth slowly grabbed my kinky mane, smell the scent of freshly pressed hair, and feel the hot oil flow down my right ear.
As I continued to watch the neighborhood children, tears continuously flowed down my face onto my floral printed jumper like rain tapping the pavement. From that day on I didn’t want to be black anymore. I wanted to stand in the middle of the road, extend my arms with my palms facing up, tilt my head back, and close my eyes … I wanted to allow the rain to wash away the “dirt (color)” from my skin.
I want to live without fear of being chastised … fear of being profiled … fear of being left behind. God, I don’t want to be black anymore.