The challenges of being a person of color come in many different realities. In this collection of poetry, we see the perspective and experience of an African American person (male of female) who is not the stereotype and it bothers them that the assumptions that people make about them are wrong. But how do you fix an idea that someone comes to the table with before you’ve even introduced yourself? In I’m Not That Person we are reminded that what you knew isn’t always what you actually know. Don’t put what you think to be fact on anyone else. In Check we dive into the list of things that people are true, a check list of what is supposed to be, and what is believed to be. As long as all of the boxes are checked things are in order. In A Little Secret we make light of some of the most popular stereotypes then bring back the focus that these things could be any one of us and if we’re being honest it is. And finally, in Where I Belong, we hear an anthem or originality and come to the realization that we belong where we decide we belong, this isn’t a place anyone can put us because it is not their decision.
*This program may be performed by an African American male or female author gives permission for this change.
Not Being the POC Stereotype: I’m Not That Person, Check, A Little Secret, Where
I just want to be me
Not the black kid
And I don’t want to be known for the color of my skin
Please find another way to describe me other that using
words that refer to some color of brown, black, tan, dark cream or caramel
If that is what my mother calls me, I feel it the most respectful
If you do the same.
Get to know me
So that you can use words to describe me that
Go to my personality
The things that I’ve done
The things that I do
Activities I’m committed to
Here’s the news flash
No one wants to be known or only spoke of in terms like this:
“The black guy. Not like super black but definitely black guy. The black guy on the baseball team. The black guy, he seems cool but you never know.”
I’d never say that my mother is the black woman that gave birth to me
or my father the black guy that pays the bills.
I would describe them as the nice lady with the red car that always
Leaves snacks for the neighborhood dogs on her steps
The guy with the black truck who coaches the little league baseball team even though he doesn’t have a kid on the team.
That really nice couple with the golden retriever named Cain.