You are not black.
"Your toffee colored." the little girl declares to my friend Noel. Freeze Frame. I don’t want to hear anymore. I don’t want to listen. I don’t want to see. But it’s too late and the reality of her statement hits me as hard as the reality of the mirror. For me, color remains a small detail in the canvas of a person. For her, color is everything. Black is a term that is too painful to shameful to embrace. Black is not beautiful. Black is not good enough. Blacks are a dime a dozen. So instead she and others find adjectives to describe themselves, to define themselves as something, anything, other than black. Ebony. Chocolate. Dark Brown. Toffee. There is a sense of superiority that comes with a lighter complexion. It’s a concept that still I do not understand, I can not understand. I refuse to entertain or even tolerate an idea that tells a child that they are inadequate. The disappointment is that even if I wanted to, I will never understand. I have not grown up here. I haven’t even lived here long. I have nothing to share with her. I don’t have words of wisdom. I don’t have answers, a solution. I can’t fix this. Then again maybe nothings broken. I hate the mentality of coming here to fix things. There are expectations and systems in place that i cannot begin to understand. But I have patience and I have time. I'm learning to listen rather than talk.
peace. love. grace