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This article is part of the More Than a Moment issue, online now.

To Be

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BSA: Black & Bold

Black & Bold by Caroline Alpert.

I wanted to be a

Fair-skinned

sapphire-eyed

pink-gums

kind of girl

I wanted to be

The kind of girl without this hair

And whose skin would

Roast under the sun

I called my peach crayons

“Skin-coloured” even though they were never

my skin’s colour.

I played with barbies whose only dark

feature was their auburn hair.

I hated my African name

I wanted to be a

Becca

Lucy

Amy

Cameron

Kate.

I was malignant to my melanin

So I made sure to keep my arms covered

With long sleeves and jackets

A conscious habit

That became so problematic

And tragic, when I’d sometimes

Be in a short-lived state of panic

Is that too dramatic? Well, it's true,

Just because of my complexion

I didn’t realize how much I

Wanted to be something

That was so impossible

Because I hated that

I stood out in my classroom

When all I wanted to do

Was blend

 

Into that sea of white

I wished to be a part of that ocean

instead of being noticed

like a lone candle in a dark room.

I lost count of the days that I didn’t feel beautiful

I lost count of the days that I felt

Like an outcast, over something

That I’m now proud to broadcast.

This skin

These eyes

This hair

My pride.


BSA: Cover crop

This article is part of the More Than a Moment issue, made in collaboration with the UWO Black Students' Association. Read the full issue here.

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The Black Students' Association wrote and curated pieces from campus about the Black Lives Matter movement; Angie Antonio was this year's Guest Editor.

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