I like folk music.
I like banjos and pianos and raspy wind voices of
But because the majority of this genre is sung by people of a Caucasian background, it can be recognized under a different name:
"White People Music."
I listen to hip hop, and
Lose myself to the beats of the bass,
Feeling the lyrics,
More than just words attached to sounds,
Words that tell stories of love
Things that I understand.
But sometimes I like hearing the world through
Sounds of someone else;
Someone not like me.
So I listen to the banjos and pianos.
Their songs don't say the same words about love and hate,
But their chords sound like they are meant to be felt.
I was listening to a song the other day about the life of a broken actress,
When Someone asked me why I was listening to that ‘white people music’.
‘I like it,’ I answered and asked them, ‘you know the Lumineers?’
‘No,’ They replied, ‘I don't like old music...'
'You should listen to some good stuff sometime,’ They said, then laughed,
‘But I guess you’re too white for that.’
Now I’d like to think I’m not easily upset.
But when you have the audacity to think that
I am okay with
An assumption of my personal identity based on
Six seconds of a song,
There are a few things I need to say.
How dare you strip me of
I am proud of the complexion of my pigment and
I did just quote a white rapper but
Does that make me any brighter,
Any whiter than I already am?
Because skin is the largest organ
Because my melanin is too brown and too rich
Because it is too great to fit inside the contents of a single syllable
Because my color was made to be seen and
I want mine to
Without being bleached.
I've seen the fallen faces of my brothers.
I want to do something,
I want to say something and
Yes, I have tried
But no one seems to be listening because
This black-white glistening skin of mine is too busy trying
To convince you that it has the right
To remain pigmented
And not be shot down for it.
If you want facts about color,
I'll give them to you
Black and white are not colors
They are shades.
And if I am a combination of both you can bet
There are more than fifty of me because
The shadows of our black-white past would be
So much closer.
Is a transition.
It is the 'color' no one ever thinks of because
It is too busy blending
Two worlds together.
My mother told me I was born
Beautiful and strong,
So I don't understand
Why my hand shakes
Every time I am in a location with
Of people who don't look like me,
Which turns out to be everyone so
The only explanation I can muster Is
Who say I don't know what cotton feels like
Who say I should work at a Starbucks
Who say I should do something with that hair on my head
People like You who tell me
I am not enough;
Not good enough to be
Black or White so I
Might as well pick a side as an
Identity because neither isn't enough and
Both is too much.
And I listen
To the words of the world,
Lost in conversations of
Pretending everything is okay,
And I lose myself.
Like a broken actress
Thrown upon a stage
With a role I never wanted.
An invisible director
Telling me to
Sing in the right key and
Not sound too bright;
I shouldn't be so sharp.
Telling me to
Say the right words and
I may be dark, but
No one wants to hear that.
So here I am,
On this stage,
Feeling the blackout gaze of the audience
Critiquing my performance while
White light stings my eyes,
From the outside in.
But I am done with this show.
Broadway can wait.
And I walk away,
Humming a song with a
Banjo and a Bass.