Tiffany O. Aliche drawing by Craig Hein
IT'S NOT EASY BEING BLACK
It's not easy being black: because there are those who act like I carry the fate of my people on my shoulders. ( that's a lot of pressure for a sixteen year old).
It's not easy being black: it seems like every black adult is always telling me to watch the way I act around white people. ( why can't I just "act" like me?).
It's not easy being black: sometimes I'm pushed to get good grades, not for myself, but to prove to white folks that we're smart too. ( why must I prove my races' intelligence).
It's not easy being black: my dark skin is often considered ugly, not by whites but by my own "brothers and sisters." (I thought racists hated our color not my own people!)
It's not easy being black: I'm expected to believe in the "conspiracy" that whites are the oppressor. ( with this attitude we oppress ourselves).
It's not easy being black: I'm supposed to ridicule those who try to dress and act "black." ( black? I thought we were all just people).
It's not easy being black: I have to "hang" with the black kids, even if I don't like some of them. (unity)
It's not easy being black: because it's okay when blacks make racist remarks, but not when white people do. (this is our right because our ancestors were slaves?)
It's not easy being black: some people are afraid of my color. (I want to be respected not feared).
It's not easy being black: sometimes I feel I'm treated differently because of my color. (always a reality or sometimes paranoia?)
It's not easy being black: black kids no longer cherish their big lips, and noses, and kinky hair. It's considered unattractive. We're supposed to have these traits. (who taught us to hate ourselves?)
It's not easy being black, though I'm sometimes tempted to feel differently. (I wouldn't want it to be any other way.)
Note: True it is not easy being black, but it is not easy being Asian, Hispanic, Native American or White. It is not easy being a person.
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