Simply Colored

Black is the color of my skin
but it does not define me.
I am defined by the lilt of the tune I sing,
by the joy and merriment my character brings.
By the mountains my hymnals and praises quake,
by the strength of my spirit and its will to never break.

Brown is the color of my eyes
dark and weary like the oppressive past
from which my ancestors derive.
Yet I am defined by the sturdiness of my soul,
how it wavers but never bends.
I am defined by how many hearts
my gentle words and caresses
can heal and mend.

 Pink is the color of my lips.
I am not defined by the plushness
and size of my mouth.
I am defined by the sharpness of my tone
when I slay my hinderers with words of defiance
and sword-like lyrics of protest.
I am defined by the empowerment my speeches
bring to the weak,
and the protective melody these lips release
to shield the vulnerable.
I am defined by the power in my voice
when I proclaim victory
and freedom for my people.
No more will we be controlled
by the government's baleful ways.

Red is the color of my blood,
the blood that stains the soil
and never washes away.
The color of the blood that my ancestors
 painted their master’s whips,
 that fail to fade to this day.
Red is the blood that runs through me now
as I stand tall and proud, unwavering.
A metallic river of strength,
perseverance, integrity, and faith,
that flows through me like a never-ending stream of hope.

Blue is the color I bruise
an oceanic hue on a canvas of brown.
It’s a color of encouragement.
For wounds, bruises and scars
 do not discourage me,
but rather persuade me to continue
because they tell a story.
They tell of my past
and the hardships I’ve endured.
They show the progress that I’ve made
and propel me forward .

So when they try to dissuade me
with words of discouragement,
racial slurs and predictions of failure,
I don’t allow it to sway me.
They motivate me to prove them wrong.
For I am a strong, confident and beautiful woman of color.
I represent culture, the ghettos, my motherland,
hip-hop, rap, black power, freedom, equality, and change.
But above all, I am a brown canvas
painted with the colors of the rainbow.
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Tiana Bradham

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"Simply Colored" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 11 Nov. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/48804/simply-colored>.

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