Stealing

April 24, 2018 by Guest Student Author

by Miles DeClue '18

When we are younger

We are taught stealing is wrong

And yet here you are

Darkening your skin

And doing Bantu Knots

Like it always belonged to you

You see

I straightened out my curls

And stayed out of the sun

To match the girls on every magazine cover

But all of the sudden being black is in fashion

And you buy those chunky gold hoops

That you just called ghetto

Because Urban Outfitters said it was okay

We were told not to steal and yet here you are

Stealing the melanin I was ashamed of

Stealing words like “Lit” and “Ratchet” and “Bougie”

That I couldn’t say in fear of seeming uneducated

You see

My blackness was viewed as dangerous

Because dark skin and cornrows made me look like a thug

But brown face

And “boxer braids” makes Kim K

Look fierce

It took me 17 years

And a world of pain

To love my curl pattern

And melanin

So you do not

Get to steal my brown skin that shines in the sun

You do not get to steal the words

My brothers and sisters created

You do not get to steal the culture that made me

You have tried to erase us

From your textbooks

And the only history you want to share

Is the one where we are in chains

But you forget

That the country you live in

The music you rap to

And the literature omitted from the syllabus

Was built on the backs of my ancestors

We are shown in a certain light

Either straight haired and articulate

Or loud and angry for your entertainment

But we refuse to let you expel us from society because

We have a world of beauty that grows like a flower

Even when you try to deprive it of water

We will continue shining

We will continue thriving

And in a world that forces us to live in fear

We will continue to revolutionize

When we are younger

We are taught stealing is wrong

And yet here you are

Darkening your skin

And doing Bantu Knots

Like it always belonged to you

You see

I straightened out my curls

And stayed out of the sun

To match the girls on ever magazine cover

But all of the sudden being black is in fashion

And you buy those chunky gold hoops

That you just called ghetto

Because Urban Outfitters said it was okay

We were told not to steal and yet here you are

Stealing the melanin I was ashamed of

Stealing words like “Lit” and “Ratchet” and “Bougie”

That I couldn’t say in fear of seeming uneducated

You see

My blackness was viewed as dangerous

Because dark skin and cornrows made look like a thug

But brown face

And “boxer braids” makes Kim K

Look fierce

It took me 17 years

And a world of pain

To love my curl pattern

And melanin

So you do not

Get to steal my brown skin that shines in the sun

You do not get to steal the words

My brothers and sisters created

You do not get to steal the culture that made me

You have tried to erase us

From your textbooks

And the only history you want to share

Is the one where we are in chains

But you forget

That the country you live in

The music you rap to

And the literature omitted from the syllabus

Was built on the backs of my ancestors

We are shown in a certain light

Either straight haired and articulate

Or loud and angry for your entertainment

But we refuse to let you expel us from society because

We have a world of beauty that grows like a flower

Even when you try to deprive it of water

We will continue shining

We will continue thriving

And in a world that forces us to live in fear

We will continue to revolutionize

Written by Guest Student Author

Periodically students volunteer or are asked to write for the Stoneleigh-Burnham blog.

Filed Under: Poetry Festival, National Poetry Month, Poetry Month, Poetry, Student Writing, Student work, StudentVoice