I will never be loved by, I won’t be considered for, I will not even be noticed simply because of the color of my skin. Sometimes I wonder if we believe that we all have souls. From birth to now, my mind has been influenced to think the lighter the complexion, the prettier you are. And society, intentional or unintentional, forces us to believe that the more white one is, the more right. Does our lack of imagination hinder us from believing that our personality match could be found in another country?
Here, I am talking about color, not even ethnicity. I got the amazing opportunity to travel to South Africa this summer where I met the most amazing people who I physically blended in with, but had a completely different contextual background. Conversations were natural, some were foreign. I was accepted by most, and denied by others. Some wanted to meet up again; others ignored my requests. In each case, however, I was never judged before I got the chance to speak. I could have been a distant cousin or high-school friend. For the first time, I felt like I could walk unnoticed, in a good way. Not to mention, I met some of the greatest people with identical personalities on the other side of the world. Who would have thought?
Being black is hard. It’s nothing I would trade, yet I’m not sure if it’s something I would have chosen for myself. Everything I do has to do with my color. I have to try a little harder or be a little quieter. Many unspoken expectations at certain resturaunts or jobs, I will never meet. Certain places that I can identify with have been tailored or assumed by others.
If we all stood outside with the sun beaming us a reflection, it would be impossible to discern who is who.
A lot of the times, I feel like being black leaves me room for no in-between. Since I have a college education, I am striving to be like another. Or, because I speak well and articulate my words, I am a rare breed. I hurt for my nephew who is exceedingly smart for his age, has not a care in the world and loves all people equally, yet will one day face injustice and lesser treatment all due to a choice he did not make. I also hurt for those who have also been born superior who has a passion for injustice, but feel utter helplessness when searching for solutions.
When we go outside, we all have a shadow. No matter the color of your skin, all of our shadows reflect the same image. That shadow is our soul. If we all stood outside with the sun beaming us with a reflection, it would be impossible to discern who is who. Likewise, if we channel our supersonic vision and focus beneath superficialities, we just may discover a new color – the color of the soul.