Being black is not as bad as some make it seem.
You learn at a young age not to make so many excuses,
“It was only a toy gun,” or
“I have my hands up,” or
“I can’t breathe,” or even
“I know my rights…”
because they don’t save you from much anyway.
You learn that you must smile, you must smile, you must smile through your pain
and never complain because
a moment of frustration could define your entire life,
like, who would want to be the angry black girl forever?
you’ll even be advised to not care about the injustices you always face because one day—
you’ll become numb and it’ll be okay, it’ll just make you a better person anyway!
you learn quickly that others can be excused for being the way they are,
but you will never own that option, so Dunbar I finally understand what you mean
because I’m beginning to comprehend the meanings behind this mask.
Being black, you can make it out the hood and be at your prime,
and still your skin will always be noted and still that skin be shot down
(chill I’m talking metaphorically or am I?)
every single time.
You will learn how your community, your ghetto is solely responsible for their turmoil,
because thanks to Bill Cosby,
the world is now finally aware that the question isn’t what kind of police officer would shoot someone over pound cake, but why is that kid stealing pound cake anyway? duh.
The smartest thing they ever did was putting you against your own.
Being black you will wonder about your little black child and learn that the safest place they ever could be, was in your womb.
Morrison didn’t lie about that.
You will learn that slavery has been romanticized to the point of mythology,
and you will think that if the people were really able to fly, then they would have spread their wings a long time ago.
You’ll be comforted with “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”
and given the gift to wonder, why are they trying to kill you in the first place?
You can’t imagine how quickly your perception of the world should change once you’re tall enough to be a threat,
Because even if you’re 12, your height should’ve forced you to know better.
And if public school wasn’t enough,
then the school of hardknocks that you’ll inevitably enter will give you a solid education.
So the world will teach you, and the system will teach you,
that being black can’t be as bad as they make it seem.