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Stop Stereotyping My Skin

The following is an original poem from Bread for the City Board of Director member Michael Owensby, read during Bread for the City’s daily 8 minute and 46 second direct action on 7th Street NW.


I was born black is that

a sin –

is it not enough that my ancestors were

beaten shipped and chained –

don’t you think it’s time for a change?


You act like I’m a threat to society

when it’s you and your mentality.

Stop fearing my skin –

don’t you know God made us all kin?

Stop fearing what you don’t understand –

how about giving me a helping hand?


I don’t hate you for your skin –

only your behavior is a sin.

If you only knew my whole story,

that’s why I give God my praises and Glory.


Stop stereotyping my skin.


I see penitentiaries being built each day of the year,

while mother’s cry for unborn children not even here.

I see hatred in the eyes of men in this world.

I see a lost generation of boys and girls.

I see schools being shut down because teachers are afraid –

and I now see this government like Malcolm x said.

I see my brothers hate each other for no reason at all –

and I see Willie Lynch syndrome still standing tall.


I see death before it appears,

while it draws the blood of anyone near.

I see graveyards with unmarked soil,

and I see the struggle of my people as they toil.


I’ve seen more than I wish in this lifetime,

while evil men are the ones who create crime –

but, with all that is going on I still see hope if we let it near

and if we do not, I see penitentiaries being built each day of the year.

Stop stereotyping my skin.


Let’s band together black and white –

let’s change this world and make it right.

Stop stereotyping my skin.

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