We have had some very intense reports in the news over the last several weeks, but this post will not focus on racial issues or on the judicial system. Although Poetry in Different Colors includes three very significant poems, whereby the foundation is built on the “black” experience they were written for edification and information. Ultimately it is important to me that we recognize the humanistic side, which should create empathy, understanding, compassion and respect. When we put our energy into race, creed, gender or any other external dressings we are with, we tend to miss the individual (person) and become judgmental and intolerant. Culture provides us with some unique experiences; however as human beings we still have commonalities; which are the ties that bind us. All of us share emotions of hurt, anger, disappointment, joy and love. Some of us are parents, some have siblings and we all have a mother and father. And while those conditions may have variations, again these are things we all have knowledge of and can relate one with another on these levels. But when we don’t try to understand and relate to one another, the result becomes the categorizing of people and their cultures; ultimately resulting in negative and dismissive behavior, leading to Tragedy.
The poem entitled “The Black Skin I’m in,” truly is not racially motivated to cause harm, but it is the experience of being an African-American that sometimes is frowned upon for the wrapping in which I am wonderfully, beautifully made of. However, even I experience those moments of isolation and disassociation, but I have learned to accept the misconception and conjecture of others. Why, because what I know to be true is they really have no idea who I am. This outward appearance has created a missed opportunity for others to get to know just how much we have in common and for that I am sadden. Despite the perception, I will continue to embrace “me that I was gifted to be.” I’m sure some would look at the title of this poem and say, oh here we go with the “woe is me” story, but I assure you this poem was written for quite the opposite reason.
In light of the fact we (humans) share similar experiences, I also wrote another poem entitled “Calling on All Men.” Although I do specify “Nubian brother,” I acknowledge that the hardships of our young men are not all about the “black” experience as young boys of different racial groups are potentially going down the wrong path and desperately need the assistance of a male mentor to provide the roadmap for the path needed. However, the target of “Nubian brother” lends itself to the reality of what there is such an abundance of in our media, that being young black men dying because of reckless behavior and in a number of instances, poor judgment on the part of someone else. I think you get the picture by now; how this is all relative. We can relate one with another once we open ourselves up to the idea of the “human” experience; what we all have in common, the familiar widespread thread the “Human Ties That Bind.”
The third poem that comes to mind is entitled “Because They Did We Do” it was written with great intent to be powerful and empowering to help African-Americans understand the shoulders upon which we stand as a result of the sacrifices made to move us forward. However, generally, in history, people have made sacrifices for mankind and we are all guilty on some level of forgetting and taking for granted the sacrifices made for the opportunities we now share. So, notwithstanding the “black” experience, there is much to be gained by all individuals who read these poems for the reason that it’s all relative. And beyond that, it is always beneficial to understand a person’s journey to increase your ability to be on familiar terms with which they are, maybe even why they feel what they feel and do what they do. We should want to be acquainted with those intimate feelings and thoughts to better aid us in having a healthy relationship with all people.
When we can see each other in the simplest terms of humans understanding the similarities and appreciating the differences; we will then be unified. The barriers will be removed and we can become a human race in its most pure form.