we will not shed our skin [a beautiful poem by my teen daughter]

Image of African American Girl looking out into the beautiful sunset over the pacific ocean
My life matters.

This beautiful poem, written by my 16-year-old daughter, is dedicated to all the black girls, young women, and women who throughout their lives have been made to feel less than.

She wrote it following the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests happening in the U.S. and across the world.

We Will Not Shed Our Skin

I came into this world,

With rich melanin all over my temple,

Mind you it does not burn

When the sun hits,

You see, the rays from up above ‘embrace our skin

Revealing our radiance as gods and goddesses,

I look in the mirror and see a long

Deep line of culture threaded along my skin

That society wants to cut off so badly,

Yet look in their mirrors claiming it for their own being.

They say to tame our hair

Then say “I want cornrows”,

They wonder why our skin is so dark for some

Then go off getting unnatural tans,

They make fun of our thick full lips

Then stick a 200 dollar needle through theirs for an illusion

Parents having the conversation of what to do and how to act

When out during the day and night

To my brothers and sisters,


Because no matter what age

Or shade

a black life is

The chance of having a gun to their head,

A knee on their neck,

An invasion in their safe place

Is higher than you think.

We put our fists in the air as a symbol

Of unity

Of hurt

Of humanity,

A reminder that our lives matter

And that our existence is not something to take lightly,

Nor our skin is not something to shed and put

 on your precious walls built by those

Deemed less than.

You and I woven in different cloths

Both can donate precious blood to save lives

Both can fight for this country to protect citizens,

But come back to homes in different economic neighborhoods,

Come back to schools with different education systems,

Or even you come back home but I didn’t make it,

 instead lying on the ground crying for my mom

Who I promised to be home before the sun sets.

So before you ask, wish, or want what my skin

And soul have to offer,

Think do I deserve to have something

I treated as unworthy yesterday,

Or in retrospect

400 years!


We will not shed our skin.

-Poem By WM

Image of protestors at Black Lives Matter protest.
Black Lives Matter

5 responses to “we will not shed our skin [a beautiful poem by my teen daughter]

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