NYCD: Brown Stain


Poem performed by Prisca Julien at "'Lyrics under the Stars  - a poetry night" as part of the Africa week celebrations held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on Thursday 22 May 2014.
Poem performed by Prisca Julien at “‘Lyrics under the Stars – a poetry night” as part of the Africa week celebrations held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on Thursday 22 May 2014.

By Prisca Julien


I heard a story…

They say- of beautiful people;

Of lighter skins and great tones.

Those who can afford to wear every color of rainbow.

Who thought being able to do that meant being better.

But I didn’t listen to it long…..

Cause…. I heard another story.


One of excitement and change,

Of people who carry the color of the earth on their skins and carry full lips that sing harmonies of love and freedom.

They’d dance to their music with those old folks dances,

… their cheek bones glorified on their faces.

High and strong like the mountains they climbed.

and rich voices mixed with broken accents from too many owners.


I heard of people with history as long the Nile and richer than the gold of their land.

History as tall as the Gods of the Greek

Different names …same God…..same  message of peace

The same peace Malcom X walked for, the right to be different that Rosa Parks sat for.


And then I heard a sad story.

It was the same one.

It was them.

They seemed to have forgotten who they were and what they did.

‘cause who wouldn’t want to be associated with that kind of strength.

The brawn of our forefathers who felt the whips,

And the pregnant mothers who toiled the land till it was the day to give birth.

Who would want to forget the type of strength it took to change the world …

……..and make it easier for others walking the middle line ,so they would find peace and acceptance too.


And yet, you find fault in it?

In the symbol of struggle and triumph that that you need to wash it off?

Wash out that black and brown and oneness with earth?

You call it a stain?


But, didn’t you hear the stain of the plantain is in?


I think on the works of Martin, Mandela, Harriet and more

….and I think u could NEVER wash away the color that was passed on to me.

I want to be identified with them.

I accept who I am.

That I understand the richness of history that lives in my skin.

So now I wear my brown, oh so proudly.

No cake soap, no bleach and no two toned stuff, looking like a clown.


I wear my brown with pride

And if you ask me what team I’m on, it’s not the ‘get-light-skin’ one.

No sir,

I love my Brown!


See more posts on the National Youth Council Page.

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