What I Learned

As a little girl;

that the sun is in my blood, my mum taught me that

I talk funny because my mum’s English

I have funny hair because my dad’s black

I have freckles because the two of them made me

I need to eat meat and potatoes cause I’m too skinny

I need to eat fried chicken and collard greens cause I’m too skinny

I need to lay out in the sun cause my friends do.  “You know you’re not like them.”  My mother said

I did not know what or why…..And then I did

“I hate you!”  My best friend screamed at me on the school bus in the third grade.

I stuck my tongue out at her cause it was the meanest thing I knew

“Don’t stick your ugly, purple tongue out at me!  You’re black and I can’t be friends with you!”

I went home and looked at my tongue, it was – and still is – more of a purple, not pink like hers

I knew what then, but not why.  When…

I had my hair straightened (so it wouldn’t look funny) They said:

“Light skinned girl thinks she’s all that cause she got good hair”

I didn’t then,

I just didn’t want to look funny, and sound funny,

I just want to be.


  1. Then just be you because I love who you are all the time. Going through all that made you a wonderful women and only accented your beauty. I never though stole your light, and that is why you are wonderful. And that is why you are you!! Here is to light-skinned, freckled, social chameleons with good hair. Wish there were more like you.

  2. If those experiences are what has shaped you into the beautiful person that you are today then cheers to the adversity that you faced growing up.

  3. The heart is a muscle and all the experiences in life you had, good and bad, exercised that muscle. Now, you have a strong yet tender, loving heart. How amazing is that?

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