This Is What It's Like To Be The Only Black Kid In Class

"What if, as children, we were forced to grow up in a school as colorful as our crayon boxes?"

Poet S.C. Says stood out among the white peers he grew up with. He admitted how much this bothered him in a spoken word piece he performed at the 2014 Texas Grand Slam titled "Crayon Box." 

"So I tried to blend in," S.C. said. "Tried not to attract attention for fear of being mentioned. I changed the way that I dressed to seem less confrontational, changed the way I spoke to seem more agreeable changed the way I breathed as not to be too audible. I couldn't change my flesh no matter how bad I wanted to and I began to notice."

He said his insecurities about being a biracial child in a racially homogenous environment weighed on him the most when he noticed he was the "black friend" his peers' parents talked about and it wasn't necessarily him that girls didn't find attractive but "the skin I was dressed in."

S.C. also said he "noticed that being mixed and being black weighed just as heavily on the suburban scale of normality and I'll admit, it took me a long time to realize what they meant when they asked me 'what are you?' as if my overall classification of human being wasn't quite registering on their 'one of us' radar."

In the latter half of the performance, the poet reconciles with growing up differently than his childhood friends by heralding the beauty of diversity.

"What if, as children, we were forced to grow up in a school as colorful as our crayon boxes," he said. "Imagine how colorful the stories we painted together would be if we began to see unique and beauty as synonyms and not commodities we can exploit to sell stories."

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