by Leonard L. Hoston

Fear the color of my skin because I represent beauty,

I represent life and love, forgiveness and courage.

Fear the color of my skin because it is a constant reminder of resilience, perseverance…
A constitutional ignorance meant to derail me, but nonetheless I am still here.

My blood build the halls of Kamec (Egypt) and educated the brains of foreigners.

My blood created the first academic culture (Timbuktu) and connected the people to land through agriculture.

My blood displayed its power through the creation of Empires.

And because of the love my blood possesses people are able to flourish and reveal their better selves.

And when I cry my tears mold the land of tomorrow.
When I laugh my joy webs the spirit of tomorrow.

I am an enigma.

The more you try to understand me, the more you will find yourself at the beginning.

So fear the color of my skin all you want. In truth, your fear is nothing more than just a workout to the content of my character.

I live because of those kidnapped from their homes and forced into free labor.

I live because of those runaways who wasn’t free until the monster called slavery was dead, and unleashed their will.

I live because of those ex-slaves who despite their circumstances rose to become elected officials.

I live because of those lynched by racist ideologies under corrupt systems built me up.

And I live because I am meant to encourage a generation of generations that we don’t quick until this monster called racism is dead.

So fear the color of my skin.
I am much more today than I was yesterday.

Tomorrow is my goal, and the pursuit of happiness is mind to claim.

You are no threat to me, just a minor disruption.

So fear the color of my skin, I am everything that make hairs on the back of your neck standup and proud of it.

Updates from the University of Washington Bothell's Project on Mass Incarceration in Washington State