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My Skin Is Black

Journey to Self Love: The Beginning

Image by Shavonta Arline

My skin is black, oh the stories this black skin could tell. Of far off places that I’ve never seen, of stories of heroes and triumph, of dignity and greatness, of royal decree, of a time when I didn’t have to be ashamed to me.

My skin is black, oh the songs it could sing. Of dancing and rhythms so free. Flying away into the night and day of my subconscious mind, longing to feel that music in my heart and ride out the waves euphoria as they come beat by beat. The sound of the drum chasing the wind as it soaks in its everything. The pure environment of lush green and yellow sun, blue skies and clear water.

My skin is black, oh the pride is brings. From people resilient, oh how I wish I could be! As steady as a mountain, but flexible like a stream. Pride in the richness of my history and culture that it breeds. In the traditions of my island and the power of the continent. Held so high up by my people. It's kissed by the sun, such a lovely dark brown. Blessed by nature is my hair which is black, oh the laughter we share, so tightly coiled that the secrets of my ancestors remain hidden in the roots.

My skin is black, oh the sadness it brings. Lost histories covered up in a dark past too gruesome to be rediscovered. What should be pride is lost to me by those who are stuck on oppressing me. I mind my own business, but they look at me queer. The fingers pointing and the whispers saying, "that girl with black skin, with hair tightly coiled, who has lost her history in this land. Not even knowing the richness behind the color black."

My skin is black, oh the anger it feels. From being tortured and oppressed to downright violated. My skin is angry from the years of ignorance forced upon it by those who deem it ugly. My skin crawls and itches to break free and silence the next person to say something about my black skin.

My skin is black. It longs to be darker. Hours in the sun reminding me of that story, of that song, of that pride. My black skin cries out for history to be told, and for images of beauty to be changed.

My black skin calls for me to love it like I should. It screams to be cared for and nourished. It cries for me to proud of the person who I am, the person I was, the person I will be and always be.

La negrita takes on new meaning because my black skin is more than what you see. My black skin is my intimate friend, consoling and encouraging. It is my home, my comfort and my safety. My black skin is not ashamed of who it is. For it is me and I am it. It is a history of peoples much greater than I, the combination of ideologies, cultures and traditions. It is the history of oppression and conquest, of colonization and injustice. It is the history never ending combat and victories, of sadness and incredible nirvana, of faith and hope, pride and loved ones lost. I am my black skin, etched in it is history. That's what make it beautiful.

My black skin is the foundation on which I live my life from day to day. Because my black skin is strength, and my black skin is joy.

My skin is black, and I love every single inch of it.

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My Skin Is Black
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