Skin Deep

Skin Deep

This was originally published on my other blog.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

I was once asked if I'd ever personally been made to feel as if I couldn’t succeed because of the color of my skin. I said no, not personally.

I’d never felt discriminated against or had someone be racist to me personally. But ever since my first year of high school, I’ve noticed the lack and frequent dwindling of other African Americans in my school, in my classroom, and in my major.

I was taught that I should fear the police because I’m black. I was told that I’m the exception, not the rule. I’m the first of my mother’s children to graduate high school and attend college. I’m one of the few members of my family to gain more than a middle school education. I live in a neighborhood that some would classify as the “hood” or the “ghetto”. I’m often told by my family that they’re proud of me because I didn’t drop out of school nor had children at a young age. Because that’s the norm for someone that’s black and a female. I was taught, not by white people and their behavior toward me, but by my family’s attitudes and behavior what racism is. Based on their experiences, none of my own, they taught me what it’s like to grow up with black skin and the struggles that come along with it. They told me this not to scare me, but so that I would know what to expect from the world because of the color of my skin.

So, no, I’d never felt like personally I couldn’t get anywhere because of the color of skin. But what makes me any different from millions of other African Americans? Luck? Prayer? I’m not here because of something I did. All that I know says I shouldn’t be where I am today, that I’m an anomaly. I’m a black female with an education, no children nor STDS, and with long-term goals. I’m the exception, not the rule. Sandra Bland could have been me. Trayvon Martin could have been my brothers or cousins or uncles.This. . .  fear is something that was ingrained in me because to be black in this country is to be at risk. You are never safe. You can’t escape the color of your skin or over 300 hundred years of oppression and abuse that’s targeted at African Americans.

I’m not so certain that this is what Dr. King meant when he said he had a dream. I don’t think this is his dream

Published by Malia -


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