Black Voice

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Read Time:1 Minute, 48 Second

By Emily-Rose Njonde

Posted on December 3, 2021

I hated you, at first.
If you’d let me back then,
Pick the color of my skin
The coat covering me would be paper thin.
I hated you, at first.
The way you sit atop my body
Made self-hate a hobby
Turned bad days to worse
Made me stand out first
You made me sad.
My kinky hair and lips that flare
My hips that curve, dip and swerve
“Why me?” I’d scream into the void.
“I hate you. Everything about you
From the color of your arms to the shape of your face.
From the bottom of your toes to the top of your nape.
I hate you.
Nothing good can come from you.”
I saw you as an enemy.
A rival
An imperfection that I needed to make up for
That I needed to make other people forget or look past.
The Blackness on my body was a pit
Of self-loathing and despair
A cage for someone who hated themselves and their hair
I hated you.
Until I saw it.
The way you sparkle when the light hits
The beauty in your many depths and shades
The way my complexion is also a reflection
Of people who were victims of severe oppression
My mane connects me to those who were enslaved
This skin, that I’ve always felt so trapped in,
Is not a cage, but a blank page
This ebony that stretches across my skin
Doesn’t close me in, but sets me free
I can do anything, through my ancestors who strengthen me.
My skin is love.
My skin is patience,
My skin is beauty.
I am love.
I am the sum of all the love that came before me
Love in good times and in bad
We are love
I hated you, it’s true
But you’ve always loved me
You’ve always been there,
You’ve always truly cared
My armor,
My protection,
My shield,
My guardian
I do not have the words for the state of awe I’m in
I love you
My skin,
Ma peau
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,

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