What do you say, America?

By: Maya Rothman,

*The following was submitted as a monologue for North Central’s MLK celebration, “The Power of Our Stories” with the theme “A Letter to My Country.”


What do I look like to you?
Puerto Rican, perhaps?
Chinese, by the eyes?
Or does my complexion fill you with confusion,
of national origin, and descent?

If I was Spanish, would you know my last name?
If I was Greek, would you know what I speak?
Why does, what I am, determine, who I am?

These questions have been pondered by thinkers and knowers for millennia;
discussions on whether or not the color makes the difference.
At one juncture, the very black people were thought to be less than another.
Any, other.
Now, science has proven we all come from, one, BLACK, women in Africa.
By why, I still must ask, do we make assumptions of people just by the way they say a word,
or because of what side of, what city they come from.

Now it’s not to say I am blameless.
I too have thought this person, or that person,
might cause me some trouble in the long run because
they held their a’s a little longer than I hold mine.
We are all people. We all make assumptions, we all  have room for improvement.

We have to join together, as one human family,
and resolve these issues before it becomes too late.
Because these issues won’t resolve themselves.
They’re not just going disappear with the wind.
We’ve tried that before, and I don’t see the results before me.
It’s been like this since our parent’s time, and far before, that these issues of
black vs. white, light skin vs, dark skin, educated vs. accent have been on the table.
It’s time to wipe the table clean my friends, it’s time
to finally give our grandchildren the life that they deserve to be living, not dying in.

So what say you America, what say you?

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