One night last spring, I was leaving the grocery store and preparing to get back in my car when a middle-aged white woman began questioning me, "Is that your car?" She thought I was trying to steal it.
As a black man in America, I instantly knew her question was more about my appearance than me actually trying to steal the car. However, it's funny that now I'm leading Car Window Poetry where I leave encouraging poems on people's cars and it's being received well.
We live in a society where, just as quickly as I can be praised for my accolades, I can be accused of wrongdoing because of the color of my skin. That can be really scary. I get anxiety every time I see a police car, but I could just as well leave a poem on that police car and make that officer's day.
In 2017, I want my skin to be seen as beautiful. I want my life to be seen as valuable. I want to be seen as a helper and not a criminal.
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