Skin and Soul

I did not expect that the first time I would be called the n-word would be in Australia.

On the way to the Black Panther premiere.

In broad daylight.

During Black History Month.

I figured it would always be in whispers behind my back or in the comfort of their homes, whoever they are. If it didn’t happen in my many years of living in the South in America, it probably never would. I’ve gotten used to, as much as one could get used to it, the surprised looks regarding my speech, the term “oreo” getting tossed around, and that weird “black mama” sass tone people use with me once they think they know me. I’ve heard all too often, “Well, I’m not particularly attracted to darker females, no offence” or “My family would not be happy if I married someone black”  Not to mention the many history lessons I’ve been constantly fed about how those who looked like me were treated not only in America, but worldwide. Slavery, segregation, racial slurs, lynchings, bombings, false incarcerations, redlining, police brutality, wiped out history, and the list goes on seemingly forever. And because all of that is too much to bear in mind and heart day after day, I immersed myself in music, travel, education, writing, and God.

Maybe that’s why I hardly recognised what the drunk, or maybe strung out, man was babbling when a friend and I walked passed him last week. Over and over he repeated the word at us as we were going to catch the train. His thick Aussie accent distorted it so much I assumed he was just spouting gibberish. My friend motioned quickly for us to cross the street, “I can’t believe he’s saying that” she uttered. Surprised that she understood him, I asked her about what he said, but she told me I didn’t want to know. Then as I replayed it in my head again, I simply said, “Oh.”

I simply brushed it off at the moment and continued being excited about Black Panther, which was so good. I didn’t realise how amazing it would feel to see an entire movie with people who looked like me being superheroes, scientists, and warriors. I felt so proud and inspired. But as soon as I left my friend and hopped the train to go back home, those words from earlier haunted me as I sat in silence.

I don’t believe God made a mistake when he deepened my skin tone, He sees me as beautiful, I am a work of art. But so often art is misunderstood and I reason that’s why things are the way they’ve been for darker people. In most cultures around the world you will see the issue of skin colour arise. Whoever is the darker of the people are the least desired, respected, and valued. Sometimes I let this flaw of the world speak louder to my mind and heart than God’s voice. Yet even when I rise above this plight, it still finds me when I least expect it. To some, I am seen as a risk, a stereotype, a chance to rebel against their parents, a fetish, a blemish, an oddity, or a jester. These things secretly weigh and wear on my soul and I ask God why did He make me the least of the humans.

My beauty is not hidden from Him. He assures me that I am always seen by Him and that my soul is in His care. I am loved and supernaturally crafted, just as everyone else around me is. Standing in the skin I am in has afforded me the opportunity to see everyone more accurately. It has given me an understanding of feeling unwanted and forgotten in many ways. Rather than the eyes the media wants me to see through, I have been gifted eyes that see glimpses of God in human beings. Eyes that see souls in all their splendour, minds in all their brilliance, and hearts in all their tenderness. I will continue to do this as I navigate this Earth, even if hardly anyone else will give me that same honour.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

-1 Samuel 16:7


Moore Awaits ♥️