A Black Boy Born the Fall of 1980, What is Blackness
Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility writing contest, August 2019
A proud influence and example of success gained was right in front of me the whole time, Blackness.
The Contrast of a Gold Nugget Watch against Midnight black skin
was a silent way to say I’m Proud
even though times for me have been trying.
The Black suit work to work
The Polished dress shoes
The Pride earned from years of hard investments
The limousine drove for a successful thriving Black Owned Business
For me to Embrace a Culture which has produced
Generation to Generation of Strength by
Standing on Faith and the Strong Willpower of Black Men/Women
with tight jaws facing injustices, that smile even though,
is my pain misunderstood also silent.
A lot has been unsaid.
Schools filtered what about my Blackface,
the sufferage, the Family dynamic that was disrupted and broken
enslaved never to be set Free
also to be Equal given a fair change after Emancipation.
No one wanted to explain the reason I was found in a common law adoption
probably never to know of the Lands of Ancestors originated.
The truth that they were brought Literally to an adopted Land themselves.
The Gold bracelet that was worn on the right wrist
A picture, Black & White of a Mother and Father posing side by side unsmiling.
Their chocolate skin draped in the nicest dress wear
A Black couple could obtain in the year, 1912
A Dollar Bill Enclosed inside the frame below
Serious melancholy Faces which sat atop a Bookshelf
Inside the zen inside our home
A lighter Hue my own complexion told Another secret.
Never, was I told I was weaker or that success couldn’t be mine.
This Ethnicity I Embrace, my Blackness
For all the unknown Silent messages
my immaturity wouldn’t allow the communication
from one Generation to the next did I miss a lesson, yes.
While I grow with interest for coming Generations
kissed with a Blackface,
concerned because the struggles will be real,
beginning to Erase ignorance within myself I too must pass on
A Silent message through action and example
Rather than not tell colored babies about their Black History,
Strengthen their knowledge about the Building Blocks
which from visions formed
the Pyramids in Africa
to the design of stones used to create the Washington Monuments
created within Black and Proud Minds
Rather than hold back because of Pain or Hurt.
Let’s empower the strength the Negro Skin exemplifies.
The Sacrifices, the torn Backs, the inequalities, the non-violent movements
in time against a Profound ignorance,
the stands took, the sit downs to disrupt injustice
was the Silent Cry in the Eyes of A Black Proud Man
right in front of me the whole time,
I Ask that you Smile knowing the Silent message has been discovered…