What I Saw vs. What It Is

little lay lay

When I was little I didn't see color.  I liked it better that way but in some sort of way I would see color.  I remember the moment I cried really hard for the first time.  I was in 1st grade, and we were learning about Martin Luther King, I was the only black girl in my class ALSO the only dark skinned person in my class.  So naturally when we were learning about judging those not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character everyone looked at me.  (Sadly that is only a few of the lessons I remember reading in first grade along with Mae Jemison and Abraham Lincoln.  As I got older Sojourner Truth and Phillis Wheatley were my influences.)  Later that day, people in my class apologized to me as if I casted a curse to hinder them but as a child I accepted them and assumed they were the cause of racism and were truly sorry.  Unfortunately the loving world didn't last long because the next day they took their apologies back.  I felt as short as I was, so I was picked on but not as nearly bad than in the years to come.  I shed out of my skin wishing for a different color; AS IF I could be painted a different pigment.  "NO MORE MELANIN" is what I would think.  BUT, I never knew they echoed what they heard at home.  The following year became worse.  And each growing day more worse.  Did I mention history used to be my favorite subject?  Oh, well it was until I stopped hearing about my influences, the ones who compel me to write, (Sojourner Truth and Phillis Wheatley) and I needed that in middle school because they made me feel proud to be me. A BEAUTIFUL MELANIN DARK SKINNED GIRL.  Sadly, there would never be a black history month or slavery lesson ever white washing the world as if taking my freedom isn't enough.  Sorry, my ancestors freedom.  I'm blessed enough to be born free.  Racism is taught not birthed. 

  • Author: lay lay (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: July 5th, 2017 21:28
  • Comment from author about the poem: I wish we didn't see color (black or white). Racism is cruel and I've been through worse moments than the one I mentioned in this poem but I will never forget this moment because I was 6 or 7 years old and it was my first encounter. Of course I didn't recognize it then but as I got older I started to and those people I push out of my life because they are not good for me. Personally I don't want people to be offended by the work I have written because I love every race, culture, and gender. Even though I went to a predominately white private school and most people in my class were showing hints of racism, I learned to love my enemies and pray for them a better day because me praying for them made my day brighter and made me love me for my skin. Also, I had my best friend (who if you're wondering is white) be by my side the entire way.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 38


  • kevin browne

    a very inteersting read. a well educated poem in fact. I love you already and I'm a white man who loves everything alive or dead. there is no stopping this historically bad issue you capture so wonderfully to me that even as an infant you recognised rasilism, now your teaching how to put an end to it. a great well done to you x

    • little lay lay

      Oh my gosh! I love you too, thank you for seeing what I see.

      • kevin browne

        Biana Guay, you are ever so much gracefully welcomed and loved in my world anytime and so should the whole world x

      • burning-embers

        I am a white man born in 1952 in UK and brought up in a racist environment encouraged to be racist, taught just as u say. As i became a teenager i did all the teenage things like listening to music, going to youth clubs and of course watching TV. In mid 60's civil rights marches were on Brit TV and we saw in our living room the horrors of people being beaten for standing up for their rights. I was finding that the music i was most interested in was coming from people of dark skin. At14 we would go across the river to a black neighborhood where we could hear some really cool music and our white boy faces were a tiny minority. I learned by being with people that racism was a pile of dung. As i grew older and became a musician i found that all the great players were black people, my heroes.
        When any of us speak of our own experiences on this, then we can speak from our heart.
        Your work here is very powerful and disturbing and let it continue for as long as is needed.
        Shout it out loud and clear. And let he/she who disagrees attempt to justify themselves for they shall surely make ridicule of themselves.
        I make no apology for taking up a lot of space here with these comments because i have very strong anti racist conviction.

        • little lay lay

          I appreciate you sharing your experience in that life time because for me being only 16 I never really truly processed it often that my grandparents lived in that time period. Sometimes its hard to believe because they smile through anything and they came up successfully. Your comment was not at all taking up space but filling my head with more sweet knowledge. All the love <3 ~ BG

        • ShannonXx

          A brilliant message! Loved reading this

          • little lay lay

            Thank you so much for enjoying this!

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