Take A Closer Look

When you look at me

what do you see?

Cause I’m tired of being judged!

I’m tired of the dark skin Vs. light skin drama,

tired of good-hair VS. bad-hair phobias

when we really should be proud of our nappy-roots…


Because in our roots

that’s where our strength lies.


I’m sick and tired of being judged

by my looks

my style and

my complexion!



just once

I’d like for someone

to take the time

to get to know me



See where I’m comin’ from or

where I’m headed

cause I’m so tired of

black-on-black crime

us degrading one another

being jealous of one another

when we should all ban together

water our black-seeds

help them to grow strong.


My complexion is such a small part of me…


Cause I’m Deeper

than color or

outward appearance,

I’m deeper

than you could imagine.


My spirit is soooo Deep!


If you’d take the time

to know me

on the inside

you’d find out

how special I  really am.


Come close


Look a little closer

A little deeper

open up your mind

let my light shine through,

I could inspire you.


You just might be surprised

at what you find.


If we’d stop fighting against one another,

trying to be the only one…and

join forces,

we could start to build up

in our communities

what was torn down long ago

because together

we can move mountains.


In me

you will find

a heart that’s big enough

to cradle the world in.


You will find a soul

deep like the rivers

Langston wrote about

my spirit soars

from the greatness of we.


You will find

that I am not only

a thinker,

I’m a doer,

I get the job done!


If you’d only

take a closer look…


You’d find that you

couldn’t even begin

to comprehend the imagination I have.


The joy I feel

tenderness so real…


you would be amazed

by the knowledge

I’m building here

inside these walls of me,

I am willing to share it all

with you.


Come close


look a little closer

a little deeper

take a closer look.


Cause in me…

you can refer to

the archives

deep inside my mind

there you will find

an in-depth resource guide

to the many questions

you might have on…



Civil rights

Human rights

Women rights

Equality and justice.


There is so much


history pasted to

the walls of my mind.


In me…

you will find

the answers

not to all,

but most of

your questions on

Great African-Americans

such as…


William Still

Ida B. Wells

Mary McLeod-Bethune

Reginald F. Lewis

Bernice Johnson Reagon

Julian Bond and

so many more.


If you’d just take the time

to take a closer look

take the time

to figure me out

ask a few questions

cause I’m the only one

with all the answers

I know the whole story.


In me…

you’d find

a well of knowledge

just waiting to be tapped.


You’d find

that deep in my soul

lies the history

of our ancestors, and

of many great African-American

leaders and inventors

such as…

Garrett A. Morgan.


In the recesses of my mind

you’ll find the pride I have

in the knowledge that

Black people are bad…

like nobody’s business!


If you take a closer look

you’d find

in me

the strength of…

Nelson Mandela

Marcus Garvey

Martin Luther King Jr. and

Malcome X.


In me…

you’d find the genius of

Charles Richard Drew and

Vivian Thomas.


The endurance of

Jesse Owens and

Wilma Rudolph.


The voice of

Mahailia Jackson.


In me…

you will find

pain so deep

but an even deeper love

for our peoples strength

courage and knowledge.


The love of our talents and



We are survivors

we build this place!


Now tell me we ain’t bad

and if you could just stop

being so damned judgmental.


Come close


look a little closer

a little deeper

inside my world

you just might learn

to be proud of

who we are

as a people.


If you’d take a closer look,


In me…

you’d find

a kind

loving friend.


In me…

you will find

that I love my people

no matter

how yellow

my skin is…

no matter

what style clothes

I wear

no matter how I wear my hair

no matter

the size of my dress.


I am a black woman

a high-yellow

black woman

a brown black woman

a jet black woman

who is proud

to be black.


Here we sit around

crying over how bad

whites treat us,

when we should be crying over

how bad we treat each other.


In me…

you will find

a lover of words

poems, books,

stories, music,

theater and

all the arts.


So you see

you never really knew me at all!


But now that you do…ask a few questions.


Cause I’m so tired

of being judged

by my looks

my style and

my complexion.


Now that you’ve got something

to work with

try to be a little more

creative with your thoughts of me.


Come up with something

better than judgments.


Come closer


look a little closer

a little deeper

open up your minds and

let my light shine through

I could inspire you.


When you look at me…

what do you see?



don’t be afraid

to take a closer look.

-Terri A. Durden 2005





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