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This article is part of the Black History Month issue, online now.

Confessions of a dark-skinned Black woman

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BHM Black and Bold art

Black and Bold by Caroline Alpert.

Black Lives Matter.

Sorry, my apologies,

I meant all Black Lives Matter.

Because with the thousands of analogies,

Deciphering this movement,

Somehow the codes got lost in translation,

Putting Black men in focus,

Blurring Black women into silhouettes.

Because the currency of a Black woman's life,

Does not equate to the currency of a Black man's life.

Giving us a Black life exchange rate of,

"Black Lives Matter," equals Black men matter

And "All Black Lives Matter," equals Black men and women matter.

But I am deeply sorry.

Sorry that my blackness and my womanhood,

Not being mutually exclusive identities,

Coexisting since conception in my mother's womb,

Is a nuisance to my existence and my essence.

I am deeply sorry.

That I cannot remove the Black,

From the woman and just be woman,

Or remove the women from the Black and just be Black.

I am deeply sorry.

That me being Black and a women simultaneously,

Is an inconvenience for you, a Black man, to humanize me.

You scream, "Black Lives Matter," with the same breathe,

That you use to suffocate Black women to their deaths.

Because for you, "protect Black women," comes with a clause.

There needs to be familiarity or desirability.

And I have neither.

There is no familiarity,

For you have no knowledge of my existence,

And I lack desirability,

Because the depth of my blackness is not palatable to you.

Because your desirability hinges on the darkness of my melanin,

And the richness of my blackness,

Is one without proximity to whiteness.

And for these reasons,

I cannot rely on you, a Black man, for solidarity.

Which is why the one who fights for me,

And the one I fight for,

Is Black women.


This article is part of the Black History Month issue, in collaboration with the Western Black Students' Association and Interrobang, Fanshawe College's student newspaper. Read the full issue online now and find it on stands Monday.

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The Black Students' Association wrote and curated pieces from campus for the Black History Month issue; Angie Antonio was this year's Guest Editor.

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