“Beauty is more than skin deep” this saying speaks poetry to the truth. Being beautiful surpasses the physical and dwells deep within the spirit realm. It is the light that you manifest, it is what draws others to you, it is your inner self being reflected outwardly. Yet society does not portray that true image of beauty. We live in a society where young women are growing up believing that their looks determines their value, not their morality, or virtue. Where their bodies are being uses as improper vessels of mistreatment; more emphasis is being placed on the body rather than the mind, or courage and strength. Young girls aspiring to be more like barbie than an independent thinker. A world full of lost Christie dolls. See Christie was one of the original black barbie dolls, she resembled a West African woman, with her own unique look and style, but even over time she too conformed to the “Barbieitis,” that American image of beauty.
I know this far too well, I grew up hating being black, I often time wished my skin with lighter, my eyes to be brighter and my hair much straighter. I didn’t reflect what I seen on TV or in fashion magazines, I was not Barbie, in fact I was far from her. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the image that looks back at me is the Imago Dei the (Image of God). That’s when I knew it was the inner me that made the outer image so beautiful. Now I see young sisters struggling with much self hatred.
Its time to revise what it means to be beautiful. To embrace the Image Dei in all of us and to celebrate our differences by creating a Nu Image!
Lord, Lord, Why did you make me black?
Why did you make me someone the world wants to hold back?
Black is the color of dirty clothes;
the color of grimy hands and feet.
Black is the color of darkness;
the color of tire beaten streets.
Why did you give me thick lips,
a broad nose and kinky hair?
Why did you make me someone
who receives the hatred stare?
Black is the color of a bruised eye
when somebody gets hurt
Black is the color of darkness.
Black is the color of dirt.
How come my bone structure’s so thick;
my hips and cheeks are high?
How come my eyes are brown
and not the color of the daylight sky?
Why do people think I’m useless?
How come I feel so used?
Why do some people see my skin
and think I should be abused?
Lord, I just don’t understand,
What is it about my skin?
Why do some people want to hate me
and not know the person within?
Black is what people are “listed”
when others want to keep them away.
Black is the color of shadows cast
Black is the end of the day
Lord, You know, my own people mistreat me and
I know this just isn’t right. They don’t like my hair or the way I look.
They say I’m too dark or too light.
Lord, Don’t You think it’s time
for you to make a change?
Why did I make you Black?
Why did I make you Black?
Get off your knees and look around,
Tell me, what do you see?
I didn’t make you in the image of darkness, I made you in the likeness of ME!
I made you the color of coal from which beautiful diamonds are formed.
I made you the color of oil, the black gold that keeps people warm.
I made you from the rich, dark earth that can grow the food you need.
Your color’s the same as the panther’s known for (her) beauty and speed.
Your color’s the same as the black stallion, a majestic animal is he.
I didn’t make you in the image of darkness, I made you in the image of ME!
All the colors of a heavenly rainbow can be found throughout every nation;
but when all those colors were blended well;
YOU BECAME MY GREATEST CREATION!
Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool such a humble little creature is he.
I am the Shepherd who watches them.
I am the one who watches over thee.
You are the color of the midnight sky, I put the stars’ glitter in your eyes.
There’s a smile hidden behind your pain;
that’s the reason your cheeks are high.
You are the color of dark clouds formed when I send my strongest weather.
I made your lips full so when you kiss the one you love, they will remember.
Your stature is strong; your bone structure is thick to withstand the burdens of time.
That reflection you see in the mirror…the image that looks back is MINE!
this poem was inspired by Genesis1:26-27
written an unknown Artist..
Genesis 1:26 and 27
And GOD said, “Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So GOD created man in His own image, male and female He created them.
If you’ve been watching the news than you know that a man by the name of Troy Davis was executed on September 21, 2011 by lethal injection. This case amongst others proves that our justice system needs major reformation. I definitely believe that the result of this case had more to do with race than the actual murder case; I am not at all making excuses for the horrible fact that an off duty police officer’s life was taken 22 years ago by senseless violence, but there is also no excuse for the way minorities (black men in particular) are being disregarded by a system that was made to serve and protect.
Larry Griffin Missouri Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1995
A year-long investigation by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has uncovered evidence that Larry Griffin may have been innocent of the crime for which he was executed by the state of Missouri on June 21, 1995. Griffin maintained his innocence until his death, and investigators say his case is the strongest demonstration yet of an execution of an innocent man. The report notes that a man injured in the same drive-by shooting that claimed the life of Quintin Moss says Griffin was not involved in the crime, and the first police officer on the scene has given a new account that undermines the trial testimony of the only witness who identified Griffin as the murderer. Based on its findings, the NAACP has supplied the prosecution with the names of three men it suspects committed the crime, and all three of the suspects are currently in jail for other murders. Prosecutor Jennifer Joyce said she has reopened the investigation and will conduct a comprehensive review of the case over the next few months. “There is no real doubt that we have an innocent person. If we could go to trial on this case, if there was a forum where we could take this to trial, we would win hands down,” stated University of Michigan law professor Samuel Gross, who supervised the investigation into Griffin’s case. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 11, 2005).
Gary Graham Texas Convicted: 1981, Executed: 2000
On June 23, 2000, Gary Graham was executed in Texas, despite claims that he was innocent. Graham was 17 when he was charged with the 1981 robbery and shooting of Bobby Lambert outside a Houston supermarket. He was convicted primarily on the testimony of one witness, Bernadine Skillern, who said she saw the killer’s face for a few seconds through her car windshield, from a distance of 30-40 feet away. Two other witnesses, both who worked at the grocery store and said they got a good look at the assailant, said Graham was not the killer but were never interviewed by Graham’s court appointed attorney, Ronald Mock, and were not called to testify at trial. Three of the jurors who voted to convict Graham signed affidavits saying they would have voted differently had all of the evidence been available.
Leo Jones Florida Convicted: 1981, Executed: 1998
Jones was convicted of murdering a police officer in Jacksonville, Florida. Jones signed a confession after several hours of police interrogation, but he later claimed the confession was coerced. In the mid-1980s, the policeman who arrested Jones and the detective who took his confession were forced out of uniform for ethical violations. The policeman was later identified by a fellow officer as an “enforcer” who had used torture. Many witnesses came forward pointing to another suspect in the case.
These are just a few cases where men were executed and later found to be innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. Thousands upon thousands of cases are very similar to the cases above. I’m just wondering when or how many more thousands will it take for someone to hear the voices of the innocence cry out for JUSTICE! This is an age old issue that more people should take to heart because if these people were later found to be innocent after they were wrongfully MURDERED then it too is possible that anyone of us could be in their shoes. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time and black, seems to be a deathly combination.
But while we still have breathe in out lungs we have the right and ability to make a difference, to change the status quo and to create a New JUSTICE system.
“I am - Somebody. I may be poor, but I am - Somebody! I may be on welfare, but I am - Somebody! I may be uneducated, but I am - Somebody! I must be, I’m God’s child. I must be respected and protected. I am black and I am beautiful! I am - Somebody! Soul Power!” Address to Operation Breadbasket rally, 1966.
I was born loving women
Fresh into the world
I loved my mother, a woman
Who despite having a son,
That bore a name with the weight of two generations
Carried me well
I loved my sisters the way that brothers do
Tried to protect them
While they took care of me, taught me how to be a man