Conflict Representation:Colorism Poem

Written by: Faria Islam – Grade 12

Author’s Note: This is a poem I wrote back in Grade 10 for an English assignment. It was an assignment where students were asked to creatively express a personal conflict through a visual, poem, short story, video, etc. I chose to write a poem about a very personal struggle of mine. I looked back on this poem as well as the article I’ve written about this issue back in the early 2016 (link here: https://pearsonpress.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/colorism-a-very-real-issue/). Now, being in Grade 12, I found it interesting to look back on my past writing and sort of see how much I’ve grown, both as a person and as a writer. I hope this inspires others to write their own stories here at Pearson, whatever they may be about. To all the passionate writers out there, please keep writing!

 

Run, skip, play
As a child I was carefree during the day,
Out in the sun, your skin’s ablaze with colour,
Exploring corners of a foreign place until you hear a holler,
Settling sky as you return home, leaving a precious dome

Eat, sleep, grow
Mother says I’ve lost my glow,
Fainted milky skin, now you are too dark, she’d scold,
repeated and compared, until you aren’t so bold,
A different world where the sun’s disappeared,
and comes prompts that you shouldn’t be as you appeared

Scrub, rinse, wash,
Face-creams, magazines,
It feels like the media’s brainwash,
The dark-brown pigment you carry,
will keep you from getting married,
You’ve burnt away your beauty, but you need to be lighter,
because the ideals of beauty are a lot tighter

Learn, speak, fight,
Indeed this results because of the white,
Who’ve controlled our traditions and controlled our lands,
Beauty wasn’t exactly a plan, now we begin to understand,
the powerful force that began this hate,
dark skin is bad and white skin is great

Listen, dream, hope,
Why should my tanned skin be something to cope,
There are others less valued because of their skin tone,
People of colour, all ranges, all races, it’s time to love our own,
Bring end to discrimination, because we can be that generation

Care, love, empower,
This conflict can be eliminated, maybe not within the hour,
Beauty is every colour and every feature we have in sight,
of a person who like you, who experiences human nature,
the emotions, the suffering, despite different battles
who like you, deserve respect and kindness,
Celebrate now the skin of every creature

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One comment

  1. Faria, I’m really happy that you shared this poem! It really hits home for me as well. I love the way you started each verse and how it helped shape the overall progression of the poem. Looking forward to more work from you 🙂

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