The Difference in Skin …
last night I had to really think about posting this and so it may be long. After feeling such unity in the children's section of the Barnes & Nobles I walked into the real world and was smacked dead in the face with the way the world judges me and will now doubt, until way beyond the day I die (because I will be remembered), judge me by the same standards. I was walking down the romance section just looking at titles when I ended up in the African-American romance section and my mind was like 'what'? At the front of the store I went to the table labeled 'regional writer's' or something like that and browsed the titles, reading the backs. One I looked at was titled 'Lynching to Belong' -foreigners in America lynching Blacks so they could be accepted in society, one a history of Beaumont especially the southend of town and one about a woman and the 'white' men that had passed through her life. Out of the three books this was the only one that had a little white label with the hand written words 'African-American' on the back. Why? You could tell by the cover it was written by a Black woman. None of the other books on the table had this little label. It gives me little slap to realize even as a writer I may be shelved because of a prevelant prejudice. I tend to wonder how many people sweep pass the section with such a label. If I were a person of a different race I just wouldn't go into that section because I would probably (could be wrong) think 'they' are writing about something that would not relate to me. Has anyone every noticed bookstores are not sectioned off by 'race' except when it comes to being an African American. As a writer I want to be known as a writer, not just as a Black writer. I definitely do not want to go down in history as an 'African' American writer. Never been to Africa and know no one in my family that has. Truth be known they probably wouldn't accept me because of my skin color, too much 'milk in my coffee' as my mom would say. It is terribly sad to know that as a person you will always be labeled by the color of your skin. It doesn't matter the color of skin or the race within it, if you are the one standing out in a crowd as a minority you feel the isolation and you wonder if people are really seeing you.
We all have preconceived and home grown prejudices and we use them within our own races. As a new born child we are born empty vessels, unpainted canvases and all it takes is the imprint of our families, extended families and society to build the foundation of prejudice and discrimination on our hearts and sometimes our souls. It is horrible how racial discrimination has stunted the moral and psychological growth of America.
Me, I ask what is 'race'? Just a word and so I choose to have my race labeled 'human'.
Mark 9:23 If you can believe... all things are possible.