I always hear, “The darker the berry, the sweeter juice.”
I never, however, hear anyone speak about how the berry must be crushed and destroyed to reap the juice.
I remember times that I wanted to destroy my dark skin in the hopes of reaping some sort of sweet juice.
Some sort of sweet satisfaction.
Life in this bitter, scorched body proved difficult, with no forms of relief.
But why should there be any?
After all—isn’t the darkest piece of chocolate the most bitter?
Time after time looking in the mirror wishing for lighter skin.
Praying for less melanin.
Because this skin had me feeling like a felon.
Locked up in solitary confinement.
Incarcerated in the penitentiary of my own body.
Allowed no walks on the yard.
Not one glimmer of light to radiate on my skin.
Just desolate and empty darkness that consumed every painstaking second of my life sentence in my mobile prison.
For 19 years—I was incarcerated.
Then—I was finally freed.
Finally liberated from these dark thoughts.
My dark skin—finally appreciated.
I am the Darker Brother.
I see how beautiful I am, and I am not ashamed.