I never knew,
it was not discussed.
My Black father,
my White mother,
then
the five of us.
I never heard the word,
Halfbreed either,
nor mixed;
I hear those often now.
As well as that
so-called
reprehensible
“N-Word”,
I hear that every time
I turn around
so,
Nigger please.

I hear it in a
reappropriated,
stealing the power of it,
kind of way.
Like, with affection.
Not just by African Americans,
all races of kids embracing
a Hip Hop way.

I ate at their dinner tables,
we spent nights in
one another’s homes.
But when I wanted to date
their sister,
true feelings about race
became known.

It must have been naïveté
to see my friends as
just people,
or just as people,
assume they saw me
the same.
Forty Years later,
segregated Proms,
Churches,
Cemeteries …
Black folks
still being called
outside their name.

M. Zane McClellan

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved

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