My Mother Hated My Dark Skin

Mike Elliott
Alexandria, VA

My mother was brown. Her skin a shade so perfect until the day she died she was “Puddin” to her family and friends. My father a lighter shade of brown was “high yellow” and proud to be colored. He had a fraternal twin who was dark like an egg plant, blue-black.
My skin is dark brown , the color of a snickers bar. I gets shades darker like my uncles when exposed to the sunlight.
As a child, I would love stay outdoors for hours playing in the sun with my friends. Recently, I started having memories of my mother putting me in the bathtub to scub my skin with COMET or AJAX.
I love my mother and always will, but it is only now that I come to understand and realize that although she loved me she hated my dark skin. As my mother, she was doing what she thought best to lighten my skin, to protect me from a world that hated boys who were dark brown like me. Today I wonder would Trevon and other brown boys la cousin of mine who was gunned down by the police during a random traffic stop would still be here if they were white and not t brown like me.


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