You are beautiful only when you do beautiful things. Full lips aren’t as beautiful as a full laugh. Skinny hips aren’t as attractive as a quick wit.
Here was the thing that couldn’t be measured, couldn’t be quantified or even explained…you [cannot] categorize a human being. You [cannot] presume to know what life [is] or what it might hold.
Well tell me what a black person sounds like.
Since you think your entitled to tell me about my race.
Inform me about how my syntax, semantics and grammar is misplaced.
Explain to me how my English education & skin color doesn’t equate.
"You sound white."
Present to me your thesis about how I should start sentences with “Yo,” “Wad up?” and “Homie.”
How I don’t fit into your ignorant stereotypes
Cause you’re misinformed about how black people are really like.
I bet you expect me to rap and dance,; sag my pants; and wear gold teeth and a doo-rag.
"You sound white.”
Of course because I can only be categorized into too traits, “White” or “Ghetto.”
Forget I’m a human being, nurtured and raised, and subject to numerous influences, ideas, and taste.
Make my existence solely about the pigmentation I have on face.
Forget that in the womb my heart was present first long before my skin color arose.
“You sound white.”
There is a black culture.
I can’t argue that that doesn’t exist.
But don’t think that everyone can fall into the mix.
Or that of the TV shows and movies represent 40+ million of us - 13.2 percent.
No matter the words I speak
What makes me black is the fact that I have to defend my right to be me.
That I’m constantly categorized and placed into a box on account of my melanin.
That my true self is seen as a deviation from the norm.
And that my blackness is either a subject of curiosity or scorn.
That I’m seen as a peculiar exception to a rule.
Rather than an autonomous agent given life, liberty and happiness to pursue.
I’m always just gonna be “white” or “ghetto” to you.
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough. I don’t know why.
I need not sell my soul to buy bliss.
The Coiffure Project is a natural hair portrait photography series by Glenford Nunez.
Read more about it here: http://hellobeautiful.com/2012/05/30/glenford-nunez-black-women-natural-hair-coiffure-project/