I smile to defuse your fear.

I know everyone doesn’t hate me because of my skin

But one can never be too careful.

Ive been told that I can come across a  intimidating without one

So I’ll smile so you know I’m not hostile.

I know everyone isn’t racist.

I was raised in the South,

Went to college in the Deep South,

Never had an issue,

Actually meet some of the sweetest people ever while I was there.

Yet inherently I know…

I know that to some, I’m a threat so my blackness I lighten.

Because I am black there’s unbreakable link to Africa.

This ancient homeland often portrayed as animalistic has somehow passed on to me this image as primal or animalistic.

I am imbued with a heritage and reputation as such before I can open my mouth.

Its as if we’ve met before, though you’ve be never seen my face.

As though we’ve all been here before…

Yes, I know everyone isn’t racist.

But after watching this election I live with the reality that history has not been relagated to the past,

But is alive and well…

So I brace, inwardly, sometimes without even knowing I’m doing it.

I drive no more than five miles over the speed limit.

I know you all don’t hate me and that kindness does live in the human heart.

However I live with the fact that while my neighbors smile at me,

45’s bumper sticker is centered on their car.