Monologue #13 (performance piece)

Ramblings of a Dark-Skinned Girl in a Sea of White Shadows

#1. I am the dark eyed girl. I am the pariah by force. I am the other by force. I am self-critical by choice.

#13. I am a phenomenal woman, but sometimes I question my confidence because of the look on your face. It says I don’t belong. It says I’m unattractive. It says I’m not worth your time.

#6. I’m pretty for a dark-skinned girl, but sometimes I’m “not your thing”. This shouldn’t hurt, but today it did.

#99. I wouldn’t change it for anything. “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.” I have risen, I will keep rising, and your standard of beauty will mean nothing to me. I have the blood of giants running through my veins. You will not take this from me.

#24. I do not want to be your exotic vacation destination. I do not want to be your sexual exploration. I refuse to be your step outside of the white male hetero-normative box.

#40. I am strong. I am independent, but sometimes I ache for the agency that you don’t even have to define, the privilege that you don’t even see.

#63. Don’t be fooled. I do not wait for your pale skin to label my dark skin as an acceptable form of beauty. I wait for the day when I no longer have to assume that black women can be ignored and assume correctly.

#7. I yearn for the day when my beauty does not come with a condition of color.

#32. Sometimes I hate caring. Being a woman is hard. Being a black woman is harder. And a lot more lonely.

#4. What do you do when you’re not one of the well-known black party girls? What if you are? Why did I even put “black” as an adjective, like a qualifier? What does it mean that even I do this? Shit.

#50. Maybe my greatest tragedy is never knowing what it feels like to be that pretty black girl. Maybe I’m worse off for even considering this.

#1. You don’t get to matter anymore. I am self-critical by choice, but I am beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made. I wish your pale skin could have had the chance to understand my complexities and be enveloped in my graceful black beauty and black strength and black love and black struggle and black pain and black laugh and black God and black intelligence and black blackness. I’m not sure you were in the right place, and I don’t have time to wait. I truly wish you the best and the brightest and the future and ten more advantages over the ones you already have. Maybe one day I’ll see you again and you’ll see me and I’ll see you and you’ll just know. Until then, walk peacefully and sleep gently, surrounded by the soothing curtains of black darkness.


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