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Poem: Just Not Us (Winner, Lee County Aspiring Author Contest)

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Poem: Just Not Us (Winner, Lee County Aspiring Author Contest)

Myscha Dang-Harris

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I was told as a child that my lips were too big.

Now women get lip injections and overline their lips.

A white kid told me that my cornrows were ghetto.

Now Instagram models see it as a trend and call them “box braids.”

My classmate said my curly hair was too curly and frizzy.

And yet here she is, perming her own hair.

People make fun of our weaves,

But why do I hear nothing about their hair extensions?

I’ve seen little girls shamed for their skin color,

And yet the same people sit in the sun to achieve their melanin.

They made fun of our larger hips and thighs,

And now they try to replicate it with silicone.

Rap was used as a way to communicate our oppression,

And yet the holy “Rap God” is white.

They mocked our dialect and way of speech,

And now they will defend their “right” to say the ‘n’ word.

The same men in blue who claim to protect everyone

Shoot innocent black men unjustifiably.

The same people who will claim to be our allies

Are the same who shout “All lives matter” at our efforts.

Sometimes, it just feels like

They like our culture, our appearances

Our values, our traditions,

Just not us.

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Poem: Just Not Us (Winner, Lee County Aspiring Author Contest)