I Am Not Black


If black is the absence of color,

If black is what happens when all light is absorbed,

None reaching the eye,

Lacking in hue and brightness,

Then I am not black.


I am not black.   no-advertising


I am color.

Feisty and flawed and fabulous.

I don’t just absorb light.

I refract it.

Taking negative energy and aiming it away,

Pulling the light of the universe into myself

And back out in rays.

Pouring on those who cannot see themselves,

For themselves,



I am gold.

Atomic number 79

For the year I arrived.

Resistant to attack by individual acids

Intent on breaking me down.

Mined from a place of darkness

The prospector’s find.

Brilliant, solid and strong.


I am obsidian.

Fiery magma moving in smoothly to fill vacant spaces.

Cooled and molded by experience.

Amorphous. Changing. Unclassifiable.


I am a self-fulfilling prophecy.

An ancient prediction causing myself to be true.

And you?


Though your skin may be tinted with melanin,

Ranging in shade from latte to java,

Your flavor is rich;

Your history deep;

Your potential, infinite.

Draw on the strength of your ancestors.

Construct your own definition.

Speak boldly.

Tell them this

That you are more than the color black

Broader and deeper and more complex than that.

Whenever they ask you

What you are.


I was asked to write something to perform at the Black History Month Kick-Off Assembly at my school. So…this.


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