“I am an African child. Born with a skin the color of chocolate. Bright, brilliant and articulate. Strong and bold; I’m gifted. Talented enough to be the best. I am an African child.” This is an Eku McGred’s poem in which, as far as I remember, it was our piece when we had a speech choir when I was in 9th grade. Up until now, whenever I think of this stimulating poem, it suddenly prompts the question, “Why am I black?”
Skin one is one of my clear-cut flaws. It is indeed my biggest insecurity. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I promptly ask myself in a satirical way, “How would I look like if I were white?” These are the things that ran into my mind that kept myself trapped in an enticing bait of life. I was teased several times. I was mocked by ample oppressive people. From an innocent mind and sinless judgment, I grew up in a world where criticisms and tyranny are normal in a society.
SARCASTIC MOCKERY TEASE
My day wouldn’t be polished off without a tease I mainly get from people whose habit is to make fun of someone’s fragility, or in short, uniqueness, so I can glint the agony.
In the pivot of everything, I hold the spotlight even brighter than celebrities when one unfolds the humorous kick off like there’s no other day for another jeer session.
I have these signature teases where everybody remembers me when it comes off. In the midst of the discourse in a typical classroom setting, when a teacher turns on the projector and turns off the lights, someone will abruptly yell, “Antayu i Jay-Ar?” followed by “ot ating sususlapong malan karin” when I wear a white shirt. As they turn the lights back on, they’ll look at me whispering, “Ay salamat atsu naka, kalwat mu rin mewala.”
These contexts are normal which deserve not much attention for I believe that as long as I feed the trolls, they’ll procreate and torment innocents.
PINOY AKO, PINOY TAYO
If we are going to look at the inner core of Filipino attributes, we are in-depth and diverse. As we have studied in our Philippine History, Negritos, Indonesians, and Malays were the early settlers in the Philippines. They were among the earliest known migrants or inhabitants and indigenous groups thriving in the country.
The Negritos widely known as Aetas are believed to have migrated by land bridges or narrow straits that connected all land masses in the world. They are characterized as having mostly dark-brown skin, curly hair, thick lips, wide and flared nostrils, and usually below five feet tall. These are the natural roots and principal physical appearance of each full-blooded Filipino. We are black. We are Pinoy.
In today’s generation, as several breeds have sprinkled in one’s seed, the standard of beauty has become a battlefield that whoever reaches the finish line of having every scheme of grandeur wallops the battle. At first, I was conformed to this notion. I’ve used a sort of whitening products to lighten my skin as I was too conscious of being set apart from the perspective of being beautiful. However, due to excessive application, I had skin irritation, it felt like my face was burning and stinging. I was agonized with the feeling of penetrating the obsession of becoming white. And it has never been easy as society sets the norm.
Being black in America is tough as quoted by LeBron James who was once a product of racism. And recently, George Floyd was murdered by police officers by kneeling him down to incapacitate him. This was a display of brutality as the United States (US) is known for at odds with people of color.
At this threshold, protests from different countries commence after this accident where #BlackLivesMatter has been worldwide trends for a couple of days, condemning the inhumane threats to these amazing blacks.
With these events where the world is at a pandemic crisis while suffering from various injustices, to speak is at all times of importance amidst this venture. We will not be silenced with these acts as we feel every inch of conundrum caused by the tyrannized authority.
Altering the norms set by standards that being black is at its prime exclusivity must be of substance. For someone like LeBron James and George Floyd deserve no difference but a fair share of community, liberty, and life.
We are black, yet, we deserve a living.