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.
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,
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.
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.
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.