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August 31, 2014 - Black and White


With the appearance of social unrest tearing through cultures all over the world, it is important to explore different perspectives to paint the truest picture of the situation. The pieces featured here explore race, specifically looking at relations between black people and white people.  

Poetry



Identity"White reflects all colors on the light spectrum,"
                                    my teacher once said.
I wondered why it took a scientist to discover
a lesson that history has already taught us.
White doesn't carry home its dead
                                   with
                                   the
                          

Identity by TurboTracks

"I live with dispersed hues that run at the sight of me
because my science-history says it must be so."

This poem takes a white perspective on this issue, exploring the guilt of history as well as the daunting dream of cohesion. What makes this interesting is the rarely-explored idea of hope for white people - that this state of oneness can be possible despite history.

OvercomeOvercome
It is a moment without metaphor,
without the elegance of ambiguity.
What happens does not signify anything,
does not borrow the body of what it is
to create the soul of what it is;
it does not lend itself out to betoken
other things. These are seconds
without such generosity.
It is not a moment of young onions
grown tender for the harvest, or persimmons
frosted over by the sugars of age. There are
no solemn rail cars rusting into poignancy.
There is only a young black man
who is only a young black man
bullied by the sting of insult and indignity
too great, his proud mouth burnt by wrath
as he careens down the sidewalk
toward bedlam.
There is only a loose-tongued white man
who is only a loose-tongued white man,
older and leaning heavily on a cane as he turns,
a bag of something in his free hand, fretfully
silent now as he looks into the face
his epithets have spoken to life –
one ugliness begets another.
Cups of coffee leave the parking lot
behind me, where presumably all
 
Overcome by b1gfan

"It is not a moment of young onions
grown tender for the harvest, or persimmons
frosted over by the sugars of age. There are
no solemn rail cars rusting into poignancy."

Taking the perspective of an onlooker, the impact of this piece comes from it's blatant style. It is not layered with emotion or impression, rather, it presents the scene as it is. Whether intentional or not, the situation described in this poem speaks to a deeper issue; a black man, angry enough to be moved to violence from the words of a white man. There is something to overcome. 


Prose



colour blind.She saw him at the park once. He was the colour of dirt; with bird eyes and white, mapped palms. Her little forehead lined as she felt the bile force its way up until her saliva was acid. She counted her toes and bit the inside of her cheek, should she run? Are they fast runners? She figured this one must be if he kept himself out of jail. The dark man flashed a mouthful of pebbles and held out his hand- which would have swallowed hers.
'Don't touch me.'
Her hands were all knuckles and her baby eyes tore into his. He faltered and stepped away, a half mouthed sorry. He looked upset, a grin spread like fire between her dimples.
Suddenly she imagined force-feeding him barbed wire and then tearing it back out- the way a clown pulls coloured cloth from his sleeve. She imagined tying the left of his limbs to a heavy tree trunk and the right to a truck. Dragging and pulling until his joints sang high with dislocation and his arms snapped like twigs. The way she likes the crackle of dea

colour blind. by Pretty-As-A-Picture

"The bruised black boy sat two seats behind her one year. She'd hold her nose to stop the apocryphal smell as she tried instead to fill her lungs with the air that lingered under her shirt, at her chest."

This story is written from the perspective of a young girl raised to hate black people, not realizing the blackness that is a part of her. It presents the stark injustice of discrimination, at the same time dealing with identity and white passing. Both interesting and haunting (and at times difficult to read), this story is a quietly important addition to the racial dialogue. 

Black and WhiteI met him in the sandbox.
It sits just past the streetlight mamma tells me is old fashioned because it looks more like candy than a stoplight. I don't agree, but I'd never tell her. (she only insults it in this manner after she forgets to look for it and runs a red light)
I was not building sandcastles, or playing house, or pretending to be princess of anything. I was building roadways and mountains and intersections for my little yellow jeep to purr its way over; ignorant of all traffic laws. (Did you know that if you purse your lips and blow, you can grrr just like one?)
He had green eyes to match his green tractor, and we built farms and dug trenches until our little arms were sore and then we planted pebbles while we chanted grow corn grow.
.
I think I remember her skirts, and the red of her hair, and the twisted rouge of her lips as she yanked him stumbling to his feet and sneered.
She had his green eyes.
I do remember what she said, Don’t play with her Michael. She

Black and White by TheAfterWhys

"I do remember what she said, Don’t play with her Michael. She’s dirty. I didn't know then, that the word dirty had nothing to do with hygiene."

This piece takes the perspective of a young black girl told she cannot play with a white boy. What makes this interesting is, unlike many stories within this point of view, the mother is unable to teach racism to her child. This creates the effect of highlighting the ridiculousness of the mother's ideals, but does this without taking away from the pain felt by the black girl and her mother. 

All of these pieces are interesting and thought provoking. Each of them provides a unique perspective on the relationship between black and white, each adding something to this important dialogue about race.   
Perspectives - Black and White
This was initially witten for the Create Your Own DLR Feature Contest hosted by DailyLitRecognition. I am considering continuing the series. 
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They say they lost their lives.
How many boys need to die?
Before this battle is over
Before someone stands up and says
This is wrong.
They say they lost their lives.
Countless
Unarmed
Black boys
Lost their lives.
I reject the idea that their lives were lost
Like a sock in the dryer
Like a toy under the bed
Like a gun to his head
His life was taken.
On the darkened streets
Walking home to his mother
His life was taken.
When he called the police
To stop a robbery
His life was taken.
In his home.
His life was taken.
In his home his life was taken.
They say he had a gun.
They say it wasn’t about race.
That it was a tragedy
That they didn’t mean for it to happen.
So tell me why
Why a fifteen year old black boy
With a social disability and a penknife
Was shot and killed in his home
So tell me why
A white man walks into a theater with a gun
Kills twelve people
And lives to tell the tale.
Do not tell me
It’s not about race.
Do not tell me
I am being sensitive
Or mean
Or hateful
Do not tell me that my assessment of the situation
Is multiplying the tensions
That you don’t think exists
Between blacks and whites
You wanna see some tension?
Ask that black friend you keep reminding me you have
About the ridiculous shit that white people say.
I don’t mean to sound racist but –
Every month is white history month
Including black history month.
My blackness is not something that you get to define
Having black friends does not mean
You inherent an intrinsic understanding of black oppression
And if black police officers
Were systematically murdering white men
You wouldn’t skirt on the line between
Racism and coincidence.
And when we said they lost their lives
You would go hell and back
Screaming into the heavens
These boys were taken.
We are crying.
We are screaming.
Our hearts are breaking –
This is not a new conflict.
The victims of this battle
Are piling higher and higher
And the higher they pile
The bigger the tarp we need to cover it up.
The more they try to cover it up.
This is wrong.
Why is it taking so much
To convince so many people
That this is wrong.
That we aren’t whining.
Don’t you tell me I’m whining.
Don’t tell me I’m making something out of nothing because
Black boys are victims to this society.
And do not tell me
We cherish this victimhood.
Do not tell me
I have taken your racist, ignorant, condescension
The wrong way
I will not live
By the politics of respectability
It is not hate
If we choose to be harsh because
Let me tell you something about hate
Hate is the look in his eyes when he shot that black boy
Hate is the look in their eyes when he shot that black boy
Hate is dragging us down into the pit
Because we have given it the power to do so.
Teaching cultural appropriation
Whiteness as a standard of beauty
Blackness as something that is less than
If we are harsh
It is knock you down
It is to make you see
If we are blunt
It is because we are looking back on the improvements we have made
And declaring the war is over
Racism is dead
Racism is dead
Racism
Is death.
Racism
Is such a big part of our society
It’s like we don’t even see it anymore.
Look around you.
We are centuries past nice.
We are centuries past an apology.
It is time
We say no.
We will not take it.
We will not let you tell us
Those boys lost their lives.
Because their lives were taken.
The moment they came outta their mama’s womb
Screaming into this society that hates them
Their lives were taken from them.
We want them back.
Racism is Dead
Written in response to the conflict in Ferguson, how the media has responded to that conflict, and the countless black boys that have been killed by a country that hates them. 
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MadHat11D6
J.R.
Artist | Literature
United States
I suppose I should be writing something here. I'll get back to you.
Interests

August 31, 2014 - Black and White


With the appearance of social unrest tearing through cultures all over the world, it is important to explore different perspectives to paint the truest picture of the situation. The pieces featured here explore race, specifically looking at relations between black people and white people.  

Poetry



Identity"White reflects all colors on the light spectrum,"
                                    my teacher once said.
I wondered why it took a scientist to discover
a lesson that history has already taught us.
White doesn't carry home its dead
                                   with
                                   the
                          

Identity by TurboTracks

"I live with dispersed hues that run at the sight of me
because my science-history says it must be so."

This poem takes a white perspective on this issue, exploring the guilt of history as well as the daunting dream of cohesion. What makes this interesting is the rarely-explored idea of hope for white people - that this state of oneness can be possible despite history.

OvercomeOvercome
It is a moment without metaphor,
without the elegance of ambiguity.
What happens does not signify anything,
does not borrow the body of what it is
to create the soul of what it is;
it does not lend itself out to betoken
other things. These are seconds
without such generosity.
It is not a moment of young onions
grown tender for the harvest, or persimmons
frosted over by the sugars of age. There are
no solemn rail cars rusting into poignancy.
There is only a young black man
who is only a young black man
bullied by the sting of insult and indignity
too great, his proud mouth burnt by wrath
as he careens down the sidewalk
toward bedlam.
There is only a loose-tongued white man
who is only a loose-tongued white man,
older and leaning heavily on a cane as he turns,
a bag of something in his free hand, fretfully
silent now as he looks into the face
his epithets have spoken to life –
one ugliness begets another.
Cups of coffee leave the parking lot
behind me, where presumably all
 
Overcome by b1gfan

"It is not a moment of young onions
grown tender for the harvest, or persimmons
frosted over by the sugars of age. There are
no solemn rail cars rusting into poignancy."

Taking the perspective of an onlooker, the impact of this piece comes from it's blatant style. It is not layered with emotion or impression, rather, it presents the scene as it is. Whether intentional or not, the situation described in this poem speaks to a deeper issue; a black man, angry enough to be moved to violence from the words of a white man. There is something to overcome. 


Prose



colour blind.She saw him at the park once. He was the colour of dirt; with bird eyes and white, mapped palms. Her little forehead lined as she felt the bile force its way up until her saliva was acid. She counted her toes and bit the inside of her cheek, should she run? Are they fast runners? She figured this one must be if he kept himself out of jail. The dark man flashed a mouthful of pebbles and held out his hand- which would have swallowed hers.
'Don't touch me.'
Her hands were all knuckles and her baby eyes tore into his. He faltered and stepped away, a half mouthed sorry. He looked upset, a grin spread like fire between her dimples.
Suddenly she imagined force-feeding him barbed wire and then tearing it back out- the way a clown pulls coloured cloth from his sleeve. She imagined tying the left of his limbs to a heavy tree trunk and the right to a truck. Dragging and pulling until his joints sang high with dislocation and his arms snapped like twigs. The way she likes the crackle of dea

colour blind. by Pretty-As-A-Picture

"The bruised black boy sat two seats behind her one year. She'd hold her nose to stop the apocryphal smell as she tried instead to fill her lungs with the air that lingered under her shirt, at her chest."

This story is written from the perspective of a young girl raised to hate black people, not realizing the blackness that is a part of her. It presents the stark injustice of discrimination, at the same time dealing with identity and white passing. Both interesting and haunting (and at times difficult to read), this story is a quietly important addition to the racial dialogue. 

Black and WhiteI met him in the sandbox.
It sits just past the streetlight mamma tells me is old fashioned because it looks more like candy than a stoplight. I don't agree, but I'd never tell her. (she only insults it in this manner after she forgets to look for it and runs a red light)
I was not building sandcastles, or playing house, or pretending to be princess of anything. I was building roadways and mountains and intersections for my little yellow jeep to purr its way over; ignorant of all traffic laws. (Did you know that if you purse your lips and blow, you can grrr just like one?)
He had green eyes to match his green tractor, and we built farms and dug trenches until our little arms were sore and then we planted pebbles while we chanted grow corn grow.
.
I think I remember her skirts, and the red of her hair, and the twisted rouge of her lips as she yanked him stumbling to his feet and sneered.
She had his green eyes.
I do remember what she said, Don’t play with her Michael. She

Black and White by TheAfterWhys

"I do remember what she said, Don’t play with her Michael. She’s dirty. I didn't know then, that the word dirty had nothing to do with hygiene."

This piece takes the perspective of a young black girl told she cannot play with a white boy. What makes this interesting is, unlike many stories within this point of view, the mother is unable to teach racism to her child. This creates the effect of highlighting the ridiculousness of the mother's ideals, but does this without taking away from the pain felt by the black girl and her mother. 

All of these pieces are interesting and thought provoking. Each of them provides a unique perspective on the relationship between black and white, each adding something to this important dialogue about race.   

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:iconrchaem:
rchaem Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the Fav my friend. If you Like thats my Facebook page with my Arts www.facebook.com/rodrigochaema…
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:iconirrevocablefate:
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014   Writer
:hug:

Just because you're cool.
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:iconmadhat11d6:
MadHat11D6 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014   Writer
:blush: Oh man. Thanks, doll. :hug: 
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:iconirrevocablefate:
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014   Writer
:huggle: Anytime. <3
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:iconherbodyismycoffin:
herbodyismycoffin Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014   Writer
thank you for the favorite!
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