– blacker than the night –

She has heard every name in the book.

“Aunt Jemima”

“Tar baby”

“Field nigger”

“African booty scratcher”


Some were said in misguided jest.

Others were said with the intent to kill.

Her hair made like wool,

her lips big and lively, and

her skin blacker than the night –

she has sat at the end of the rainbow

for as long as she could recall.

Then one day, she read that the term ‘black’ could be

“characterized by absence of light,

or enveloped in darkness.”

Upon this discovery,

she reflected on what she read…

and laughed without control.


In this moment of humor,

she recalled the most

unbelievable of sensations –

the warmth of her mother’s embrace,

the power of her father’s support,

the pleasure of defeating a boy in arm wrestling,

the shock of finally scoring a free throw

(after a million failed attempts),

the thrill of winning first place in a science fair,

the beauty of standing firm in her convictions…

the beauty of remembering where her light lies.

She was indeed blacker than the night…

and brighter than the sun too.



D.J. Whisenant


5 thoughts on “– blacker than the night –

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