Not Black Enough (Work in Progress)

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It wasn’t easy being a teen

designated to an island by both

sides of the color line. My father

was black, tracing his line to a great

grandmother who survived a plantation

in Grand Isle. My skin matches milk chocolate

so I must be black too–until the kids saw

my mother, the Creole woman who checked

“black” on job applications, but had fair

skin, baby fine hair that settled straight on her scalp,

and constant distrust from my father’s darker

siblings. After, I was even told to my face

that she shouldn’t even be allowed to call herself

a black woman–and I was too young to answer the “why?”

 

My identity was lost by sixth grade, the first

time I heard there was such a thing as acting a skin

color–“acting white”, not being “black enough”,

“talking white” –those were the needles

that pierced my naive skin and once it stung,

it stayed embedded til this day.

 

Notes: Very autobiographical. 

 

 

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