I guess I am extreme,
sitting in a room full of people who look nothing like me.
Skin twice baked in that southern sun,
paled in comparison to their pale comparisons.
I hide behind my skin,
which is now under attack.
Sun rays able to break in,
past the protective melanin,
intruding and assuming power.
Solar powered energy now illumines me.
They say don’t look directly at the sun,
but I forgot to repeat the warning to my classmates,
now blinded by my skin.
Skin too extreme for the natural eye to bear.
they wish to stare,
but, not for too long.
Capable of limiting any gesture too friendly.
What my mother called rich ebony,
everyone here just
And superficially, we’re friends in class.
Yet i’m rarely asked to join a study group.
Oh, but, segregation was so yesterday.
We’re instructed to be patient.
To ignore the clever lies from those who only recognize stereotypes,
jumping to conclusions based on the illusions they see on TV,
believing in characters while ignoring their true reality.
So there’s no need to fear for their safety as they recline on their sofas safely.
Inviting these characters into their homes,
when I can’t even get an invite to lunch.
Why do all the black kids sit together in the cafeteria?
Because we learned long ago that the black crayon
was only useful for drawing the street
that everyone walked on.
and the brown and red crayons
made bricks for the houses.
like the act of discrimination,
crippling our nation through self-inflicted wounds.
fed by forgiveness,
known to clean up the stickiest mess,
even one left behind by prejudice.
-Claytia Gonsalves, General Manager/Graphics & Photography Editor
Image Source: http://www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx?id=3722 (Reggie W.)