Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

Trapped in a Reflection (the Color of the Sky)

Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

Trapped in a Reflection (the Color of the Sky)

Article excerpt

What color do you see;

when you look at me?

Do you see BLACK

Instead of my brown skin

The color of wickedness?

The color of sin?

Am I the color of menace;

A shadow in death's valley?

The color of stalking you

down a long dark alley?

Or maybe you see the color of EBT

The color of single mothers

And missing baby daddies

Am I the color of handouts?

The color of housing vouchers?

The color of neighborhoods filled with

bulletproof checkout counters?

Or am I the color of gangbanging?

Of drive-bys and drug runs?

But not the color of

limited economic options

Or the color of social isolation

the product of you never passing

the Navy Yard Train Station

"It's too dangerous!"

You exclaim as you try to explain

Why it's okay to color an entire community

With casual disdain

It's a damn shame...

That you see me

as the color of "Stop and Frisk"

But not the color of the 4th amendment

Or Gadsden Flags warning "Don't Tread on Me"

And definitely not the color of a right to open carry

Oh no, not those colors...

those colors aren't for me.

'Cause see, you think I'm color of

"you just lucky to be free"

The color of "lock 'em up and throw away the key"

But not a victim of tough on crime policies

No, not the color of redlining,

But yet you color me "ghetto"

When my people migrated North

In your communities we couldn't settle

But now you peddle the politics of personal responsibility

Without acknowledging your role in our historic inequality

You tell me you can't help but see color

I say "true" but if you must,

Color me. …

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