My Paradox

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Someone once said to me, “your not black, Alex, your white.”
I immediately became offended and he didn’t understand why
he thought he had paid me a compliment.
I was amazed.
One second we were having a conversation about Obama. The next I’m being told that neither of us was black.
That’s when I began to think.
What does it mean to be black?
How is it that Oprah is not black while people who choose to not get jobs are
Why is that if you choose to be educated you’re white
Why is that if you choose to not have a baby’s mama or be one; you’re white
It is as if the stereotype that was created to describe me couldn’t hold me so
I had to be removed and because my characteristics are so “civilized” I can be honored with and upgrade to the white class
Why can’t I be a black women in America working her ass off to support herself?
Why do I have to be an ignorant thug to be black?
What does it mean to be black.
How am I black on some days and not others?
If I bumping into the KKK. They’re not going to ask me to recite the preamble.
They’re just going to hang me.
Why is it that I can judged by my skin color and receive two different verdicts.
Why is black a complement and an insult?
Why is that over a hundred years ago
When blacks were not allowed to be educated.
Our ancestors risked being beaten to death to learn to read.
Why did they fight so hard for education and freedom?
For people to now look at having those things as not being black
I am convinced that with these standards Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t black
After all, he was a college graduate. He led a movement that was felt around the world
Despite the fact that all the characteristics I just named are what he fought for
What does it mean to be black?
Does the meaning change with the century?
With the mood?
Will it mean prude and egotistical tomorrow?
What does it mean?
Why did so many people fight and die for me to be confused.
What does it mean!
Someone tell me.
I am on bended knees. Screaming up to the sky’s
Where is my answer?
Or do you not know either?
Are you just as confused as I am?
Do you too, not understand this paradox of being black?
Are you as lost as I am? As confused? As angry?
Are people placing you into a mold that does not describe you?
Do you know what it means to be black?
I know what it needs to mean
It needs to mean bravely, persevering through all the tribulations.
It needs to mean community, faith, hope and peace
It needs to mean change, equality, and respect
It needs to mean you and me
It needs to mean us


By: Alexandra Smith

 

Alexandra Smith from China - Read Alexandra's Bio

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