Fiction & Creative

Blackened Beige & Bleached Beige

By Osaiyekemwen Ogbemudia

Volume 1 Issue 5

February 12, 2021

Blackened Beige & Bleached Beige

Image provided by Khoudia Diop

Blackened Beige


To this world I am blackened-beige, nothing more, nothing less.

Too black to have red bones.

Too burnt to be bronzed light.

Not black enough to speak her native tongue.


When I look at magazines, the girls staring back at me,

Blackened-beige, they are

“Pretty,” if slathered with oil, sauteed naked, and served for the tasting

She’s not regal, never classy, but a trend, a fetish, nothing more, nothing less.


I’m supposedly scraped from the bottom of the barrel.

Too rough to caress.

Too tough to hold.

Not sexy, curvy, thick enough to fit the “preference.”


I long to be a brown girl

In a rainbow of shades and hues,

Where all can blend happily too...

But our vision is fading duller

We keep wasting colors.


Fates decided

The same people divided.


If all’s said and done, if MY melanin’s a curse,

My ugly must be the absolute worst.


Bleached Beige


My America is bleached beige.

Her hands are discolored, dark splotches defame face, and fair streaks sully the person that once was.

She has claimed to stop bleaching, observing her poached cowhide skin

Eventually, some parts of her skin returned to its original color, but many fair spots linger---

                     only

              to

    relapse.

She still smears her afflictions with the very substance that cages her from self love

                my America perceives skin color in microscopic gradients or obvious shades of difference