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At the Table

Poem as part of Black Book Box's monthly subscription box for October (2020). Black Book Box provides subscribers with monthly literature by black authors.

At the Table

Black skin

Sculpted a nuanced rainbow of browns

Its tones escaping one dimension

The outer shell that holds the depth of our core

Filled with hopes, plans and dreams

Rich in skill, adorned in culture

Traditions that draw lines across maps

Tribes that add definition

And even as Diaspora…

Planted across a progressive world

Our skin is an irreplaceable treasure box

Like diamonds in the rough

History hid our humanity in dark places

We have journeyed for truth

Boycotted busses

Held placards at parks, streets

Petitioned and studied to be heard

As though our humanity was not enough to lend us a voice

But we persevered… won, changed things

Like caged birds

Pioneers past and present have sang till closed doors

Gave in to daylight

Their melodies of hope birthing seeds of change

That challenged the status quo

We see the fruits of their labour

We are their unshackled self

We are becoming walking dreams

Discovering our identity

Stripping off false labels

Taking a seat at the table

When I see skin

I see it sculpted complex

Surrounded by context

A rainbow of stories

Each shade relevant

And intricately formed to give an individual

A detailed uniqueness


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