Living In Color, Poetry by Emani Barton

Genre: Society, Life

Living In Color
by Emani Barton

The melanin of your skin

Isn’t what defines you

Though, they’ve already created an image

Of who you’re supposed to be…

Barbaric, so in ways they’ll confine you

And judge you off of the colors that they see

They don’t see beyond your melanin

To understand who you are

They just know that you’re not equal

From picking cotton

To leaking blood from each scar

Mastered by the evil

They’ll paint a picture of you

Using your color as a weapon

Formed against you

Then try to defeat your purpose

Of fighting for your rights to be equal

The pessimistic thought

Of being turned down, is far too familiar

In a society where if your skin is brown

You’re looked at as peculiar

Supposed to be a nation

where we all stand united

But if they really cared for our people

George Zimmerman would’ve been indicted

If it were the other way around

They’d say that Tray were a beast

Yet here we go again, telling another brother

To Rest In Peace

Young black male with skittles and iced tea

Wrongfully accused of being a threat

To society, there is no justice

Which leads to a city of riots and ruckus

But the story lives on and so does the pain

Trayvon Martin, We’ll remember your name

When you are one of color

This is your reality

Something you deal with

On a day to day basis

We are victims of police brutality

They kill our people

Then dismiss the cases

Every chance they have, they’ll pull you over

Even when you’re within the speed limit

And if you drive a Bimmer or Range Rover

They’ll suspect that you have drugs in it

So they’ll ask you to step out

And expect you to let them search your car

You know your rights

So you stay where you are

They proceed to harass you

As they’re standing outside of your door

You begin to remind them

Of Amendment number four

“There is no probable cause to insinuate that my vehicle may contain any evidence of a crime. Believe me officer, you’re wasting your time”

They’re thrown off by your response of knowing your rights, and intimidated by your courage to stand up and fight.


Said the late Sandra Bland. After being slammed to ground by a white man. Who pulled her over for failing to indicate, then yanked her out of her car, and tried to insinuate, that she would kick and scream and was downright rebellious, but in all actuality that woman was helpless. They took her to jail, and left her to die. Then couldn’t even tell us how she died or why

until an autopsy report ruled it was suicide, But if you ask me, they killed her because of her pride. They took away her rights and left her with no choice. She’s not here to defend herself So we’ll just have to be her voice.

They’ll abuse our people, we’ll get it on camera, but still…That wouldn’t be enough. They’ll excuse their behavior get a pat on the back for dealing with our people so rough.

43 year old asthmatic father of six, accused of allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, by the same officer who made him feel harassed, Which was the same officer who choked him while he gasped “I can’t breathe” over and over, But still smothers him relentlessly until he lost complete composure. We stand here today, sending condolences and saying “Rest In Peace” To Eric Garner who lost his life in the custody of the police. Just like Freddie Gray, who died from unnecessary force because police officers decided to throw him in the back of the van aggressively

with no remorse, but before all of that, they bent his legs back while pressing their knee into his neck all because he’s black. They tried to say it was because of his possession of an illegal knife meanwhile they arrested him before the knife was even in sight he cried out in pain, while being dragged across the floor, then furthermore sustained injuries from not being secured. He went into a coma and fractured his spine and instead of rushing to his needs they just took their time. It’s not fair, but they don’t care. They never loved our people we’ve always been aware.

Living in color has many ups, but more downs because even with your hands up, you get shot like Mike Brown. Who surrendered the fight that was becoming intense against an officer that shot him and claimed self defense. He fired six times and twice to the head which was the last two shots that left Brown dead. If it were us behind the gun, they wouldn’t cut any slack. They’d look at what was done and the fact that we’re black. Then that would be enough for them to throw us away, there would be justice for that victim the very next day. They wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to take away our rights and they’ll even find reasons to justify taking our lives.

12 year old boy playing with a pellet gun, another regular day in the park just having some toy fun. Until a call was made that he could potentially be holding a pistol, though the message was relayed, they forgot to mention “POTENTIAL”. So when the two police officers arrived to the scene, they let off two shots immediately. They didn’t even check to see if the gun was real, although Tamir lifted his shirt to try and reveal that the gun was just a toy and he didn’t mean any harm. So there wasn’t any reason for anyone to be alarmed, but they didn’t give him a chance to prove the gun was fake. They later discovered that part when it was too late. The officer lied a numerous amount of times About the procedures he failed to take which ended Tamir’s life. But no one was punished for the situation that occurred and no justice for the family for the pain they’ve endured.

Police brutality has been an issue within black communities for years. The law is meant to protect our people not have us living in fear. We aren’t privileged because of the color of our skin in this society, they make it hard for our people to win. The melanin of our skin isn’t what defines us though, the melanin of our skin is what made us tough. We can do anything if we just believe all of our goals can and will be achieved. They tell us we can’t do it and we should give up, but we’ve been thru it to know that enough is enough. They think we are animals, uneducated and ignorant. They look at our faces then automatically pass judgment. We will no longer allow anyone to hold us back, We are proud of how far we’ve come and proud to be Black. If we just stick together and keep love in our hearts, there’s nothing this world can do to tear us apart.

    * * * * *

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