Stupid Idea: poem about internalised racism

November 30, 2021

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Jaden Okyere learns how to earn and love the colour of his skin

I’m looking at the mirror
At my black skin
Admiring my beauty
But do I deserve It?
I don’t properly comprehend
The power of my identity and skin.

I think as I paint my skin
White, dabbing the face paint
Starting from my forehead
I could give the people what they want.

To my brother
I’m nothing more than
Some soft squish marshmallow
I knew it’s just jokes
But it still eats at my
confidence.

I stare at myself
Eyes tangled in my thoughts
I blink, paintbrush drops into the sink
I pick it up
And continue on.

Brain wanders again
Thinking about Ghana
The last time I went there
I was 11, visited it twice
Don’t remember much
But I liked seeing my family
That was nice.
That was wonderful.

I check to see if the white has covered my face
Looking at the left and looking at the right
Of my face
Wait, a corner was missed
Let me cover it up.

Now the white is covering my face
And it’s itching me
The mask makes my skin burn.

The paint looks awful
I look like a person cosplaying
White
My brain dies from embarrassment
Wondering why I thought this was
Witty or smart.

Sighing
I decided to take off the paint
Splashing my face with water
Because this feels like torture
I’m not white and that is
Ok.

Jaden has an interest in writing, reading young adult/middle-grade novels and listening to Indie Pop music. He took Creative Media Production at City and Islington. In the future, he would like to write about music or books (or both!).

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