Posted in Culture, Discussions, The Writer's Block

I Love my Melanin Because…

It is a reminder that the sun just can’t get enough of me.

The light-skin vs. dark-skin battle has made it’s way into my Instagram explore page again and I’m tired of it. Sometimes, embracing my God-given skin tone feels like a political statement. I remember being in middle school and reading The Skin I’m in by Sharon G. Flake. The whole time I was thinking, “Finally, someone who gets it.”

In middle school I was in gifted, which meant I’d have nearly all the same teachers for all three years. It also meant that I would be in class with the same people for three years. I’d have to deal with the same bullies making the same jokes about my culture for nine months out of the year. But, it also meant I’d have the same Language Arts teacher.

Mrs. Macon will probably go down in my mental history as one of my favorite teachers of all time. She’s the one who introduced me to black authors. She’s the reason I learned about Langston Hughes and in a roundabout way, she’s kind of the reason I became a poet. I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Macon.

All this to say, finding representation in books helped me a ton when it came to finding confidence with the skin I was born into. It’s what led me to blogging and helping people who looked like me find themselves in literature.

What do you love about your melanin?

How do you feel about colorism?

Let me know in the comments, let’s chat!

Author:

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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