When I am an old lady with spotted skin and bones tired of carrying life, I will still remember 2020 as the year leaders of my youth ripped open deep wounds filled with the rankness of racism. I will never forget because the memory of the pain will be buried deep in my cells. Even if they don’t know it yet, the people of my time are destined to carry the wounds of today until their very last breath.
I will remember the angry cries – that were really screams of agony – from the black human and the brown human who were both reduced to nothing more than the colour of their skin. Their cries tell a story of an ancestral inability to truly love themselves. If they loved themselves then they would see that what makes them beautiful is so much more. If they loved themselves then no one could use the colour of their skin to manipulate them.
The blood pumping through their veins is full of memory. Some of these memories carry the sting of the whip, the humiliation of poverty, the loss of home and love and the heaviness of fear. But in the same blood, there is a song of home, of love, of hope, of courage and of a time when there was pride and joy. In the end, we choose which songs we hear more loudly. We choose.
Colour is a building block of the glorious beauty in this world and I am grateful for this gift. When I look at the people I love, I see them in all their glorious colour and I celebrate it for what it is – beauty. I have been blessed to witness the ebony glory, the golden glow, the bronze hue, the pearly softness and the pink undertones. They are all a sign of the wondrous gift we call life.
And we have corrupted the beauty of colour. We have twisted it into a tool to enslave. We use it to belittle, demean, hurt and hate. And many of us don’t even know why we do it. The truth is that the many rob themselves to satisfy the greed of the few.