Camille Jacome: "Skin"

Camille Jacome is this week’s feature on “Tomorrow’s Voices Today“, the new series curated by poet and educator Mike Sonksen.



I wish I could say that I had never been ignored
But the truth is I’ve known ignorance since I was six years old
Remember the other kids treated me like a leper
And every night I prayed to God for my skin to get better
I remember looking at the other girls, longing for their skin clearness
I remember trying so hard to fit in, trying not to show my weirdness
I remember in kindergarten, only having one friend
We’ve become the generation where ignorance is a trend
I remember years later when me and mama took a trip to Ecuador
I remember those husky men in a run down white pick up ford
I remember their slurs to my mother so clearly to this day
I remember their words laced with disgust as they called her “café”
I remember the confusion regarding her skin color
Since the men that taunted her were similar to each other
As I watch on television seeing the man with the deranged hairpiece
That he wouldn’t be so cocky if he talked to the real chief
Not the one with the pad and pen, the one with the spear
The one when given a chance would rid the true criminal out of here
The truth is when you see brown skin, you think of immigration
You think of ways to abuse them for their fear of deportation
The truth is when you see brown skin, you think we’re all the same type
You think we’re all Mexicans even though they are the hype
The truth is when you see brown skin, you think we’re all uneducated
But there are others like my mama who received a diploma and graduated
The truth is not all of us are privileged to be able to make it to graduation
But that only makes us poor not connected to gang affiliation
The truth is in this country, were seen less than a minority
We’re seen as your gardeners and plumbers when in actuality we’re the second largest majority
These “minorities” you look down upon are in actuality the underdog contributors
Food recipes, music genres, artists, architecture; can’t name just one thing in particular
Think twice before you segregate based on skin color, an accent, or the way someone’s dressed
Keep in mind, We’re supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the land of the oppressed
(Author photos by Christopher Moret)

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