Hot Summer Days of Georgia Became a Curse to Me

The hot summer days of Georgia had a special way of piercing my skin with a darkness that made most black folks uncomfortable. I was a beautiful sun-kissed child that loved playing outside; but somehow, this love and longing to enjoy the beautiful rays of sun and the smell of the fresh grass and blooming flowers became what seemed like a curse. I remember waking up each morning excited to go outside and play with all the other kids. We would play from morning to night without rest. That’s just how great it was.

But somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

As I got older and began to take notice, I watched other black kids sun-kissed skin turn to what I perceived as an envious colored cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany skin that glistened as they sweated in the hot summer days of Georgia.

But somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

As I played and toyed with the sun of Georgia, it played and toyed with me. My beautiful sun-kissed skin took on the sun like it would never see it again. My skin obsessed with the sun developing a relationship that would not be broken. We made a bond that produced a child with a rich of blackness that glistened in the Georgia sun. This child was beautiful. This child was me.

But still somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

Blacky! Tar Baby! Black Jesus! …what are these names that I hear? The child born of the Georgia sun was beautiful. I was beautiful. I was not these names I heard as I played hide-go-seek and caught grasshoppers in the hot summer days of Georgia. This child could not be any different than the cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany black children playing “red light, green light” in the large country fields…Feelings of unworthiness slightly creeping in as we all played hopscotch in the hot Georgia sun.

The hot summer days of Georgia were becoming a curse to me…

The hot Georgia sun and my relationship grew strained as I fought the urge to disappear as my deep dark  black skin continued to grow darker under the hot Georgia sun. A color that made most black folks uncomfortable.

I began retreating in the arms of another. This other shielded and protected me from the relationship that caused me so much pain. He kept me sheltered hoping one day I would feel normal like the cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany black children that ran under the water sprinkles in hot summer days of Georgia.

My love for those hot summer days of Georgia grew to an end. I fell in love with the darkness that took over the sky as the sun decided to retreat from the Georgia sky. Instead of amusing myself with the butterflies that flew around us as we played, I began counting the stars that glowed brightly in the sky. Now I watched for shooting stars in the Georgia sky.

Even though I could not avoid running into the hot summer days of Georgia, I kept our relationship brief. As I also did with the black folks that stared with an uncomfortable glare at the deep dark black skin that covered me.

As I stared at the sparkling stars, I began to forgive the sun that so beautifully kissed me with a darkness that would not go away. My new love helped me develop a passion and hunger for that darkness that made most black folks uncomfortable. I fell in love with my deep dark black skin as I began to view life in the sparkles of the stars that covered the Georgia sky.

-Sun Kissed

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 

 

 

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