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We Are So Much More Than The Colour Of Our Skin

According to Sunni Patterson, ‘We Made It.’ Listening to the above piece reminded me of a piece I wrote  a while back. I’m practically going down memory lane with this one, it is from my raging days. Don’t get comfortable, I still have that fire but I have grown up since 2007 when I wrote this. However, it is still a good piece and I still believe that as human beings and individuals, we are much more than the colour of our skin or place of birth. They are just boxes to be ticked off and geographical locations. What matters is what’s in your heart. By no means take that to be a suggestion that you should deny your heritage. Please embrace, celebrate and nurture it but don’t make it the benchmark by which you define yourself or others. Talk about your heritage with pride. If you don’t, who will?

Ignorance has been earth for as long as I can remember and I don’t think it will be going on holiday any time soon. When I wrote the piece below, there was furore going on in the UK because a certain Indian celebrity had been mistreated in the television reality show, ‘Celebrity Big Brother.’ Other contestants had shown disrespect by being racist, I mean effigies were being burnt, government officials got involved, even the Prime minister, dang! Talk about outrage, the irony is, the celebrities in the house/show, had no idea their actions were causing such a stir in the real world. They were in their ‘Lala’ land while the rest of us had to put up with this nonsense on the news and do I dare say newsworthy stories that mattered were ignored.

The drama made me think about our ability to define ourselves – not by skin colour or place of birth but the substance of what you stand for. For crying out loud, I am African. I will always be  African and I love being African. It forms a huge part of who I am but that is not the yardstick by which I measure my existence on earth. I am a human being with character, intellect and by all means my own peculiar idiosyncrasies…so, if you are still questioning my colour then let me define it for you a little.

So What I’m BLACK

My BLACk is power

My BLACK is strength

My BLACK is beauty

My BLACK is survival

So, what I’m BLACK

My BLACK is a field of dreams

MY BLACK is the audacity of my hope

The boldness and confidence of my tomorrow

So, What I’m Black

My BLACK is freedom not slavery

My BLACK is boldness not docility or conformity and certainly not stupidity

And my BLACK is not aloofness

MY BLACK is Power.

Still bothered about my colour?

So, What I’m BLACK

My BLACK refuses to be boxed up

I refuse to be silent

I’ll say it on the roof top

Yes I’m black

But I’m much more than my colour

I am a human being with potential

Making a mark, building a legacy

Still bothered about my colour?

Sorry I can’t help you with that

Not my problem

Never will be

Come too far

Been through too much hell

To allow you box me up

Still Bothered about my colour?

Guess what?

My Black is not slavery

My BLACK is not inferior

My BLACK is power

MY BLACK is beauty

My BLACK is intelligent

And my BLACK is freedom

So What I’m BLACK

(C) 2007 Belinda Otas

Ps: who would have thought…two/three years down the line, a black man would be president of the most powerful nation on earth, thus, making him the most powerful man in the world. Hahaha! That’s one of the best jokes ever.


7 Responses to “We Are So Much More Than The Colour Of Our Skin”

  1. Temitayo says:

    Powerful performance up there…Yeah, I’m black, so what?

  2. tell them ! black isn’t inferior!

  3. Belinda Otas says:

    Abi oh!

  4. Leine says:


    I remember MY raging days too lol.

    Somehow I feel like the line between boasting and self-confidence is VERY thin when it comes to appreciating our colour.
    I often feel like those who feel the need to scream out loud that theyr are black and proud feel they have something to prove, and isn’t that an indication of insecurity?
    I’m not directing it at your poem, or at you and I trust in your maturity to see that, but I’m talking about the majority of africentric people who feel the need to elevate themselves above other races in order to shine.
    I remember my need for identity and security when I was in my raging days, when I idealised black men and women, when ALL I listened to, were music from people of a darker complexion etc…

    Anyway, my two cents 🙂

  5. Belinda Otas says:

    Hey Leine, If I took everything/comment as a direct response/attack on my writing, I would censor myself and get scared of writing. So, take it from me, it is not going down like that. lol!!!

    I do understand what you are saying and that is a truth we have to deal with as individuals and as a society. The Whiteman does not feel the need to scream he is white. However, there was a time when my generation and those before us neeeded to hear that it was cool to be black and proud. It was a mission statement to get a generation that had been beat down for so long to think differently. That’s my take on the use of Black and proud.

    I also think its relevant to know who you are are and the space you occupy in society regardless of your skin colour because colour as we know is only skin deep…after that, its just meaty flesh and blood…hence the the title, ‘We Are So Much More Than The Colour of Our Skin’ and that applies to all of us.

  6. Leine says:

    Point taken! 🙂

  7. Belinda Otas says:


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