Not My Name

By Amber Scales

Photo by Franky Mariachi

Photo by Franky Mariachi

“Nigger.”

 

The slur flew from the truck window towards me and tried to pierce my melanin.

 

My brown skin glistened in the heat of that Alabama noon,

Its beauty demanding a response.

 

Bryant Denny tried to shield me.

Brown bodies on the field cannot protect brown bodies on the quad.

 

I will not say it did not matter.

I will say I did not respond.

I know my name.

Do not speak to me outside of it, I bear it with pride.

 

He saw my blackness but he does not know it,

he does not own it,

he will not silence it.