I’m Black by Stephanie Stuckey

Loving versus Virginia, Warren said God didn’t choose to separate us for kicks.
He said, “The fact that He separated the races shows that He never intended for us to mix.”
Don’t suppress it, address it.
Don’t ignore it, explore it.
You can go ahead and roll yours eyes because you think this story is old news,
but there are still people in this world who have yet to walk these shoes.
“You don’t need to take things so personally”…actually, I do.
Because if I don’t, imagine what things could escalate to.
Oh, wait… actually, we already have examples for this.
The school systems have embraced the motto “ignorance is bliss”.
They don’t like to share the stories of cruelty but will clog us with the history of royalty.

There’s that point in every history class that gets real awkward for that one Black kid.
The teacher says slavery and then talks like they’re walking on glass.
Trying to not offend by their choice of words
and not even realizing they’re making it far more worse.
Or the curriculum calls for that one book that has the ‘n’ word in it
and they decide to eliminate it, but for whose benefit?
“I hear Black people use that word all the time… who cares?”
This word is poisonous and has been warped to be “in”
but what it represents is an entire era of sin.

I didn’t grow up in a place where people looked like me.
But I didn’t realize I was different until someone made me see.
“Hey, go sit in the back of the bus.”
AKA you don’t belong because you look different than us.
Then I wasn’t sure if people liked me for me at all
or if they picked me just to fill a protocol.

Then all of my white friends got dates to Prom
and I was on my own wondering what I did wrong.
And from there was a tumbling of self-hate and complete self destruction.
I hated everything I was and everything that I wasn’t.

“It’s 2014, Civil Rights happened a long time ago.”
…actually there are still people that don’t like me solely for the color of my skin, I think I would know.
Because of this, Black women bleach their skin and burn their brown locks.
They eliminate any trait that links them back to where prior generations walked.

“You don’t look like Barbie so you should get a weave.”
My natural hair symbolizes my push away from what society has told me to believe.
My natural hair symbolizes my acceptance of M-E me;
my acceptance of the beautiful young woman that God has made me to be.

I refuse to let history repeat
and I will stand firmly on my two feet.
This subject is not the only thing that I fight for
but this is also something that should not be ignored.

How dare you nit-pick and judge so confidently?
Your lack of love is a sign of incompetency.
Don’t feel bad for me.
Actually,
I want to help you because being Black is not a problem to be fixed
but a heart full of hate is.
We are all beautifully and imperfectly made
and my belief in that will forever remain unswayed.


Stephanie grew up in the Seattle, Washington area and has been enrolled in mostly white schools her entire life. She realized around age 10 that she was being picked for certain things or rather not getting picked for things because of the color of her skin. That was when Stephanie realized how little people really knew about the life that she lived and since then, strives to speak up and spread the truth.