Am I Black?

Do I feel Black?

Do I look Black?


The White man tells me

I am Black

The Black man tells me

I am God

What do I tell myself?


Who do I suppose myself to be?

Who does God think that I am?


If the Black man is right

I already know

But I do not know

I am unsure


If the White man is right

Am I all I am ever going to be?



Does it matter who the White man

Thinks I am?

Who the Black man

Says I am?

Who God says I am?

Should I not know myself first?


Am I defined by the color of my skin?

Or am I defined by what is in my heart?

Should I allow the stares and presuppositions

cloud who and what I know myself to be?


Everyone says they know me

But it seems no one really wants to try

Instead it is easier to believe what they read

in books and magazines and on websites

which only advance a biased agenda

of misinformation and hate disguised as opinions


Is it important that I am concerned with these things

These inaccurate, spiteful things

Or should I attempt to conquer the lies

The assumptions

and the stereotypes


Should I be concerned with what the politicians say

about being Black

Should I be concerned with what the newspapers say

about being Black

Or should I concentrate of what I say

about being Black?


Maybe Black is truly a state of mind

a state of being

Can I reject a part of my Blackness

while embracing it at the same time?


Should I look for new ways and new methods

to identify myself as Black?

Or should I tell the world to go to Hell

and just be the best Black man I can be?


I wonder what God would say

I would what you might say

I wonder if my Blackness is a facade

I wonder if none of this really matters

I wonder

Why am I Black?


Chuck Smoot

August 27, 2002


Previous                                                   Back to The Poetry Experience                                                    Next

(Charles E. Smoot 2003-2009, all rights reserved)