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Dark Skin Blues

Dark Skin Blues

A Poem by Mary Helda Akongo
"

Black is beautiful

"
The pigment of my people as explicitly seen 
Glistening on my skin under the glowing sun 
That printed the color deeper into my skin 
The shimmer attesting to my heritage 
Feeding my desire to break free 
To rip me apart from me 
To tear away the evidence of ugliness 
That was splashed all over my skin 
Tainted,dirty and black 
Exaggerated by mother's local simsim bathing oil 
Evidence to yet the ignorance of my people 
 Yesterday,that charming man said to me;
 "You are pretty for a dark-skinned girl" 
I was enthralled..... 
At least,someone paid me a pleasant hateful compliment 
Usually i am just that black girl 
Ugly to the core 
But that light skinned girl, Oh boy! 
The true definition of an African beauty 
Oh! I am African,alright? 
But my skin is a shade darker than hers 
The melanin of my skin is my shadow 
Lurking around me 
Haunting every inch of me 
My color needed healing 
Only I didn't know how 
And God wasn't helping either 
The thing is!! 
My dark-skinned brother was supposedly; 
An Adonis soaked in chocolate fudge 
But I was different.you see? 
Just like my black ancestral gods 
From the people of the not-promised land 
So I got bundled up in hatred 
My face was adorned in smiles 
But I secretly bred contempt 
My heart became envy's nest  
Poisoning me with bitterness 
Bottling me up in self loathing 
Till I flirted with my imperfections 
They drew me closer  
Teaching me to embrace me 
Revealing my beauteous color,culture,people and heritage 
That was hidden under stereotypical buffoonery 

It doesn’t matter what color I am

I am who I am

And I won’t let the clichéd whispers of society

Fade the beauty that overwhelms me

© 2017 Mary Helda Akongo


Author's Note

Mary Helda Akongo
Colorism is one of those foul things that is common among black/African people.....the belief the dark sknned girls are not pretty...Oh,in my culture,sim sim oil is used to bath new born babies...it makes them smoother and they grow up with really soft skin but there is also that belief that it makes skin darker...nevertheless,its a beautiful culture

My Review

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Featured Review

I can feel the frustration and hatred and to a certain extent the sadness for all the times this discrimination has taken place with not only you but I am sure countless others as well. Very raw, very powerful and very gut wrenching. I cannot even imagine what you go through, or I am lying to myself otherwise. The write is about snapping at these people, but the verses in the end though, are about the acceptance and taking pride for being yourself and loving yourself ^^ Thank you for sharing ^^

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

Thank you darling,for reading and the great review:-)



Reviews

Superlative writing! Way up there with feminist writing of Angelou, bel Hooks, Alice Walker and the likes. How true we are a fallen race for making skin color a criterion for difference. The 'Other' is a powerful category to segregate and to dominate, to subjugate and hegemonize. But till the lion learns to speak for itself, history will always be written from the perspective of the hunter and it is important to change that. To take the cudgels of retelling tbe past and present in one's own voice. Unabashedly. Unapologetically. Uninhibitedly. For that I say, you shine woman. You dare to shine. Beautiful piece of work, Mary. Just like yourself.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Well done and very brave of you for tackling this very difficult topic. Of course there are many types of difference in appearance and behaviour that lead to prejudice but skin colour is one we cannot escape. Thanks again for your insight!
Alan

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

thank you kind sir
A very impressive piece
your voice is so strong
and i agree with your message

so well done

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

thank you so much :-)
Wow... Your style has really improved in this one... I can find no fault, or at least no glaring ones...Lol. On the personal level I will tell you two things. One: You are absolutely stunning. This comes from a happily married man so I have no ulterior motive to tell you that. Second... short story. There was this African man (very dark skinned) who lived in my bldg and he was so interesting and had such an interesting life. Being a writer and the person I am, I wanted to hear his experiences. The problem was, I was considered white by him. Lol. I am at least 7 different nationalities that I know of, a true American mutt. He had been treated badly though by the white community and basically he was predigest against whites. Finally in frustration I shouted at him. "If God doesn't notice the difference between us; then why the hell should I?" He looked startled, and then laughed, and invited me in. We were to be friends for years until he finally passed away. I learned so much about culture and the things he had actually gone through that you only read about in the history books... But he had actually witnessed it. It was an eye opening experience. Anthony Wolf ,'', ^@@ ,'', and by the way... not only are you my friend; you were actually my first friend on this site.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Wolf_Lord

3 Years Ago

Lol... My parents brought me up colorblind... My best frns were from all over the world, but that is.. read more
Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

Wow,that's amazing...you are a wonderful person, its not everyday that I find someone like you,I wis.. read more
Wolf_Lord

3 Years Ago

It would make everyone happier... Prejudice and Bigotry are just hate... Hate releases enzymes that .. read more
True beauty comes from within, and your message is sadly a common truth it seems everywhere to some degree. I could say I'm proud I've rised my sons as I was rised to be color blind, but proud would not be correct, as it should'nt be needed. A better dream would be as you put it... "We are one, We are united" perhaps, someday that dream will come true.

I enjoyed this free verse, you have a powerful pen. I wish you did'nt have this subject to write about.




Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

i wish i didnt have to write about it too but sadly some inhumane things just keep happening
.. read more
Hello Miss Mary, a bold statement with pride, my daughter is in third grade, and she starts to asked
Me questions similar to the topic that you tackled in this wonderful piece. Most of the time I just tell
Her that no matter what you are beautiful to me, and you should never forget that, and then she
Just give me a big smile. This is an inspiring write which holds values and the truth. Thanks for
sharing EG.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

i am glad it inspired you. thank you so much..
True beauty is what we do and say.
Till I flirted with my imperfections
They drew me closer
"Teaching me to embrace me
Revealing my beateous color,culture,people and heritage
That was hidden under stereotypical buffoonery
Whether dark,yellow,light,copper
We are one
We are a united people"
I agree with your above lines. We need to see a person and rate them by their deeds and actions. Not color of skin or religion. Thank you dear Poet for sharing the outstanding poetry.
Coyote

Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

thank you my dear friend
Coyote Poetry

3 Years Ago

You are welcome. A outstanding poem.
I am in awe at the your beautiful words. The last four stanzas were my favorite. Your control over words is enviable and I thank you for sharing this with us!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

thank you so much. you are so kind
Mary Helda, I feel the pain and frustration in your words. I can say a lot about this but the best way to put is I have learned to see Jesus in other people. I look into their eyes and see what truly does make us all the same. Understanding that we are all created by the same God breaks down all walls for me. Seeking a relationship with the Father and asking for His Wisdom allows me to see you as my beautiful sister. I am Blessed to have met you. Peace and Prayers, Richie B.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

I am blessed to have met you too. you are right, the love of God makes us see things in the best way.. read more
I don't believe in imperfections, I trust in ME. I don't believe in colours and neither trust hues..I love Beauty in all I can see.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Mary Helda Akongo

3 Years Ago

well my dear, i believe in imperfections. no one is perfect but i also "love beauty in all i can see.. read more

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Added on March 8, 2016
Last Updated on January 31, 2017

Author

Mary Helda Akongo
Mary Helda Akongo

Kampala, Christian, Uganda



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So someone once told me that i am weird. At that particular moment it did sound like an epithet but after awhile i realized that weird is great. it means you are different and different means special... more..

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