Erica Barnes "Maybe"
Updated: May 24, 2022
Erica Barnes, a ninth grader at Lawrence County High School in Monticello, Mississippi, displays self-love and inner confidence while highlighting the pervasive effects of racism.
Maybe it’s the melanin in my skin
Or the texture of my hair
The fullness of my lips
Or the width of my nose
That makes them fear me.
Maybe it’s the pride in my walk
The way I release power and confidence when I talk
How my knowledge and appreciation of my culture grows with each passing day
Or the way I’ve come to accept and embrace who I am
That makes them sneer at me.
Maybe it’s the way I still rise and fight back
Despite historic physical and verbal attacks
That makes them quiver with fear
But then again, they’ll never look past the depth of my skin,
So maybe it’s just because I’m black.
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