by AJ Cherish
Dear Little Black Child,
I’m sorry that I have to tell you this but you’ll need to know eventually.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet but your skin is dark.
No it’s not dirty and no it’s not ugly.
But because your skin is darker there are sadly many people in the world who believe that because you have more melanin it means you are less human.
Since they believe this they have tried every possible way to make your life harder.
Made it so in America 50% of people arrested are black even though there are only 13% of black people in America.
Made it so you have a harder time getting jobs, made it so when police come you’re scared they’re gonna hurt you, made it so when you’re in hospital doctors don’t treat you as seriously, made it so that when people think of slaves they think of you.
Little black child you will never know the privilege of being the standard, of being the default doll colour or the typical protagonist in a book. To see proper representation of yourself is hard and I don’t mean the black best friend or the ghetto black girl.
To live in a world where your colour does not define you is what our people have been fighting for for hundreds of years – that’s right: hundreds. You’d think things would have changed by now.
People say slavery was abolished years ago but that’s not true. Sure we’re not in the fields picking cotton anymore, but we are being systematically oppressed.
Little black child I’m so so sorry that you have to deal with this, that we all have to deal with this.
But don’t worry.
With protests and petitions and education we will fix this.
So that you don’t need to worry about police brutality or racism.
So that the labels that have been nailed to us can be burned.
We’ve waited a long time but it’s coming.
AJ Cherish (age 15)
AJ Cherish is the daughter of our Just Citizen, Glory Omoaka. Her blog first appeared on the Poverty Truth Commission website.
Cover image thanks to Unsplash/Neel