To the White men,
How dare you judge me on my skin because your dad couldn’t impregnate my ancestors fast enough?
Who are you to judge my entire race because a black man showed your daughter what a real man looks like?
Do I intimidate you?
You thought my dark skin represented the present, when it is only my past, and my smile is my future.
Oh, I get it
You’re mad because you can’t control us anymore.
You’re mad because, unlike back then, we are at eye level.
Yeah, your pockets are full, but my soul is fuller.
To that Black boy,
Why I gotta look like massa’s daughter to get your love, boy?
I mean, I got more body than that white girl’s hair.
You got some nerve throwing the race of women that gave you life under the slave catchers carriage.
And you got the nerve to call me loud and obnoxious.
What bout them actions, boy?
Love’s got no color but don’t forget about the women who took them lashes wit ya.
That white girl don’t know struggle if it landed on her implant.
Don’t forget about the women that had to take that bullet out of your arm.
Look at the scar and tell me if that white girl understands the backstory.
To that Black Girl,
You are not ugly.
You are just broke.
Those celebrities wouldn’t be nothing without those clothes, makeup, and implants.
Your future husband is going to love you, girl.
Not because your booty is big.
Not because your highlight puts the sun out of business.
Not because your shoes match your nails.
Not because you have top notch hair shipped from China.
Your future husband is going to love you because he sees that your future is greater than your past.
That those tiger stripes are only proof that you are real on the inside and the outside.
That roses can grow out of concrete.
Because the world is the concrete.
And he saw your damaged petals.
Word to Tupac.
To that young adult filled with pride,
Love has no color, shape, form, or fashion.
Ain’t nothing wrong with your lifestyle.
And I’m sorry that you are being forced to change it.
I know how it feels to not have the answers.
To not have anyone to run to and ask for help.
I am sorry that you are in this situation.
But you have a friend in me.
Know that whether or not your choice of living is right.
You are God’s child.
And I love all of God’s Children.
God loves you.
Whether you prefer masculinity over femininity.
Whether you prefer arched eyebrows or natural.
Whether you prefer the twisting of the hips over the pimp walk.
Whether you want a sharp man to match your jaw line.
Or a woman to understand the pain mother nature brings.
Whether you have a preference for who you find love in.
Or prefer for love to lead the way.
You are special.
And you deserve a chance at life just like everyone else.
So forget about the ‘phobics and the gender signs on the bathroom door.
You put the L in love.
The G in greatness.
The B in Beautiful.
Because no one puts the T in testimony like you do.
When you rep the Q in queen.
Because you know that you will P for persevere.
To my brother,
I remember our talks of making it out of the hood.
We talked about being social workers and teachers to give little hood kids chances like we fought for.
But you in jail.
Did you forget our plans big bro?
You were supposed to hand me over to my husband.
You were supposed to take me to prom.
What about the birds and the bees?
Where were you when I let him touch me?
I’m so lost and I need my brother.
But I guess my brother needs me.
To my foreign brothers and sisters,
This is your home, too.
Why is this spray tan wearing racist trying to play God.
Did he forget that he stole this land, too?
For the families who are struggling right now.
Keep your head up.
Keep fighting for the freedom God gave you.
If you get sent away, you better come back marching.
This is the land of the free.
The free in spirit.
The free in heart.
So forget about what the orange one is saying.
Forget about what your family back home is saying.
This is the United States of America.
And you are Spanish American.
Middle Eastern American.
You are American .
And this is your land of the brave.
Alia, 17, is a junior at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and writes VOX’s “Ask Alia” teen advice column.