92. "Black is Beautiful, My Dear"

Author: Simone Jackson, Sophomore

The doorbell rings, and the clock chimes,
Rushing to the door, guests are here,
The table is lined with desserts and white wines,
The air is filled with holiday cheer

Hiding shyly behind her mom’s blue jeans,
Stands a beautiful black little girl,
With a pink bow in her hair, her grin beams,
And she plays with her tight-locked curl

Slowly she begins conversing with me,
Articulating her love for fun and games,
She pounces on the couch, and to some degree
I could tell she was glad she came

She spoke about her best friends in school,
And told me she was only six,
She exclaimed, “And I have a dog named Jewel!”
Who was given treats if she did tricks

The girl with a pink bow in her hair,
Wanted to play on my computer,
There was math and reading on the software,
On these games, I served as her tutor

On this game, children make a profile,
Where they customize their own appearance,
From skin color, to hair, to how they smile,
I watched her create with no interference

As I watched her make her look alike,
I sat quiet, and I did not speak,
Choosing blonde hair, light skin, blue eyes: she said, “that’s all I like”
My stomach dropped, like a rollercoaster peak

I said, “Little girl, but your hair is not blonde,”
“You don’t have light skin, or blue eyes”
She claims, “But dark skin, dark eyes…no I’m not fond”
Then inside my heart did cry

“Little girl, is this what they tell you?” I inquire,
“All colors are beautiful, be proud of how you look,”
She says, “On TV, that’s not what people most desire,”
“Or on magazines, pictures, and books,”

I was taken aback, I could not believe,
Children could be inflicted with those societal views,
That not all colors were righteously perceived,
As exceedingly beautiful, in media news

I shook my head, and took a breath of air
And began to whisper in the ear,
Of the black girl with a pink bow in her hair:
“Black is beautiful, my dear”

This poem is based upon a true story, when I met a young African American girl, who I believe has been influenced by negative societal views that not all colors, shapes, and sizes are perceived as beautiful. This poem represents social injustices within the racial prejudices that unfortunately still exist today.

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