A poem, written by Kianna Cole
while she was a Sophomore
at Corcoran High School
. (Now, if that is Corcoran, CA
, or Syracuse, NY
, I have been unable to tell.) I ran across it while searching for "black is a state of mind", and thought it deserved a larger audience.
Being black is a state of Mind
It's not the full hips or the big behind
It's not the nappy hair or the funky talk
It's not the way we act or the way we walk.
Being black is not a choice
It's "let freedom ring
" in a manly voice.
It's sitting in the back of the bus
While all the whites look down on us.
It's learning your New black history
It's fighting 300 years to be free.
It's being left out when you try for a job
It's being lynched by a Ku Klux Klan
and all those bad things.
It's being treated as lesser human beings
It's being followed when you go to the store
It's knowing your pride cannot take anymore,
Being black is smiling when you're not happy
It's getting a perm
cause your hair is too nappy
It's saying your friends are "acting white
Cause they get good grades and don't wanna fight .
It's boycotts, sit-ins and the Alabama bus line
It's "I want to be free" in a yell not a whine.
Being Black is bravery
It's having strength to overcome in a color
Being Black is full-time work,
It's whites looking down at you with a smirk.
"Acting Black" is considered a pleasure.
Our smooth black skin
is a treasure.
It's fleshy noses and big juicy lips.
It's tight curly hair and full brown lips.
It's boys who wear a box haircut
And girls who have an unflat butt.
Being Black is a different thing.
Cause acting black
is the thing you bring.
It's not a suit you can just put on.
When you take off the suit your black ain't gone
My black skin is where I live.
It's the suit I was born with.
And when I'm cold it keeps me warm.
It keeps me dry when there's a storm.
And when it's hot it keeps me cool.
My black skin is a valuable tool.
Being black is a state of mind
It's not the full lips
or the big behind.
Acting black is a different thing.
Not just Malcolm X
or Martin Luther King
Acting black is not a thing you earn.
But being black is a thing you learn
See you there