Brooklyn

“Ask Brooklyn, she’s black”

“You’re too white”

“You’re too smart”

“Oh, you only got a B?”

 

I am made a spokesperson for an entire race.

I stare at my books intently as “slavery” rings throughout the classroom.

The pressure to say the “white” thing

Staring me in the face.

They want forgiveness

But forgiving isn’t my place.

 

My teams snicker at me.

They say I’m not a real black person.

Because I’m taking Neurobiology.

Because I go to preparatory school.

Because I’m trying to do well

 In a society in which everything

Is stacked against me.

 

My classmates are obsessed with grades

But I’m not the best at taking tests

So I know they’re throwing shade.

“How did you do?”

And I shrug and say “alright”

But I know that their “alright” is my “good”

And my good isn’t enough in this neck of the woods.

 

“Yes, but I refuse to be your token black person.”

“Speaking with correct grammar is not inherently ‘white.’ Do not insinuate that my blackness makes me incapable”

“Thank you. I can play soccer and be smart. They are not mutually exclusive.”

“Yes, but I am trying, and I am learning.”

“I don’t fit in, but I am okay with that.”

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