Black in America

All posts tagged Black in America

This skin I’m in…

Published March 24, 2015 by hrhdana

Lately this skin I’m in is heavy.

I love it,

this skin,

caramel candied perfection

a little lighter now from winter’s lingering presence.

I love the history

attached to my genealogy.

Love my family.

Love being me.

But lately…

Lately this skin is a barrier.

Has me speaking to people who can’t understand my words

even though we speak the same tongue.

Lately my truth about this skin

is uncomfortable

for lifelong friendships.

They implore me to

just

stop

talking.

Stop sharing.

Stop making them

uncomfortable.

And it hurts.

Hurts to know that

my love

given freely

and honestly

is only palatable

if encased in silence,

lies,

hidden cries

late at night.

Unwelcome in the daylight.

That if I stand in public

wear my tears like my tiara,

unashamed

they look away.

Accuse me of playing card games

laugh privately

and amongst each other call me names.

These friends

wound me

deeply.

Lately this skin I’m in is heavy.

A wet blanket

dousing conversations

like fires.

And I’m so tired.

The silence

It chokes me.

I can’t breathe.

They can’t see.

And the optimist in me

is languishing

slowly extinguishing

a flame I thought would burn eternally.

If love isn’t all the gas we need

to push past racism and misogyny

then what will propel us towards healing?

Someone tell me.

Please.

I’m asking.

I’m dropping friends at an alarming rate

I want to say I’m okay

and I am

but I’m not.

Racism isn’t just wearing hoods anymore.

It’s more subtle

But it hurts just the same.

It’s people whom I considered family

“disgusted” with me

because I fear for my child

and I say so publicly.

They want me to take a seat.

Sit quietly.

Eat the scraps thrown to me

contentedly.

 But THIS skin I’m in ain’t paper thin.

And although goodbyes are hurtful

I have work to do.

They do too.

I can’t force you.

But if you run from the discomfort of a conversation

If my truth “nauseates” you

you are part of the problem too.

If you can forget the ties that bound our friendship for years

the shared tears

the love held dear

because it’s too hard to just hear

then you only reinforce that my fear

is real and clear.

See,  I am them.

I am not different.

That’s the problem.

This skin I’m in is beautiful.

I’ll gladly carry its weight

on its heaviest days.

I have no desire to be your tolkien

Black friend

divorced from a “them”

that you can’t comprehend

my family and friends.

And the thing is

You knew me.

You loved me.

You saw me.

Until I shared with you

the reality of this skin I’m in.

And that is your shame and your sin.

Goodbye “friend.”

1

Raise her…

Published December 18, 2014 by hrhdana

I want to raise a warrior woman.
I want to invite her to have dominion over
her own mind
her body,
her time.
I want to raise her strong and whole.
I want to teach her that her beauty was a gift from God
but her heart is the most important part.
I want her to be fair.
I want her to care.
I want her to share.
I want her to live. I want her to be HERE!

There are lessons I will have to teach
that run contrary
to the goals you see
but reality
is real, you see.
And in this country
there are ugly lessons I will have to teach
for her own safety
it sickens me.

I want to raise a warrior woman.
I want her spirit to be unbreakable.
I want her to believe her dreams are all attainable.
I want to her to know she IS capable.
I want to invite her to have dominion over
her own mind,
her body,
her time.
I want to raise her strong and whole.

Now baby girl you stand up tall,
invisible crown can never fall,
own the spaces you inhabit, have it all
princess isn’t just a name you are called.
But when you see those flashing lights
forget your warrior spirit and comply.
If you find that you need help
access the situation yourself.
Call family first. We will come through
help you figure out what to do.
But if an officer stops you
just comply. I’ll fight for you.

I want to raise a warrior woman.
I want her spirit to be unbreakable.
I want…
I want…
I want…
my baby to live.

overcoming-fear

The weight

Published January 23, 2014 by hrhdana

Today was a good day. No a great day. It wasn’t busy at work. Bieber got arrested. The internet was hilarious all day long. I was able to read and laugh and post and carry on with laughter in my soul.

Then it happened.

Someone posted THIS link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/20/claudius-smith-shoots-burglar_n_4631639.html showed up in my newsfeed.

All the air went out of me. I deflated. Because I remembered the weight of the skin I’m in and all that it represents.

And now I have to spend the rest of my evening writing or I will explode.

Rest in Peace Ricardo Sanes