Fifty Shades of Earth
by: Raven Callahan

Look not upon your deep-hued skin as something to shun;
Rather think of it as a badge of honor endorsed by the sun
For you are a prism: reflecting golden sand to alluvial soil,
Variegated jewel tones from which you should not recoil…
Media machinations plant within your mind seeded doubt,
Disdain for melanin fostered as despair begins to sprout:
You blaspheme by seeking acceptance with skin bleach
To scrub away beauty: for whitewashed ideals you reach;
Remain cognizant: you’re the progeny of the mother land,
Painstakingly crafted to glazed perfection by God’s hand
With tapestries of clay in sienna, chestnut and mahogany
Infused with grace, resilience, and earth’s magnanimity:
Others call you black to subordinate your royal essence,
Expecting total surrender in quiet, passive acquiescence;
Constant mockery is made of your crown of coiled hair,
Robust features and a curvature that can sway with flair,
Yet those invidious glares will often secretly appreciate
The very pulchritude and fortitude they profess to hate…
Daughter of the terrain, let no one determine your worth;
Rejoice, for you’re painted from the fifty shades of earth.

“Fifty Shades of Earth”
© Raven Callahan. Published with permission.
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