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More than words...

Poetry has been a large part of my identity and how I choose to express myself. I am very fortunate to have this gift and use it when I am no longer able to articulate myself in a normal way.

The following poem illustrates my inability to appease the Black and Hispanic and Latino coommunities in Kansas City. I was never enough of one to be accepted by either, but instead of crawling into a hole and hiding, I let their disapproval fuel my conviction, which caused this poem to come about.

“Heifer you ain’t no half-breed”

so many

have said to me

feeding my insecurity


my inadequacy

Hair too curly to be Black

skin too dark to be Puerto Rican

I’m think

And wantin to be leavin


a meetin

to discuss the reason

why my race is the topic

of your gossip

“Girl you ain’t Black enough!

You don’t talk Black

walk Black

or act Balck

Heifer you just look Black!”

What is Black?


Black is where it’s at

with cocked hats

fat stacks

the cold hard fact

that Black

is more than hip hop and rap

Black isn’t the latest slang

Black is knowin from where your people came

Black is proud

Black is loud

Black is here

Black is now

Unfortunately for Mocha colored me

Black is what I be

but no on sees

and claim

I raise

my fist in vain

my past staind

with the same racial disdain

my ancestors suffered the exact same pain

mounted it and put it in a picture frame

“But what that go to do with you being Puerto Rican?


¡No eres puertoriqueña!”

Esas palabras

Salen de muchas


y no hay ningúna persona

que me has dicho differente

pero yo sé


mi piel

cannot tell nadie

that I was feed meringue

that even in Puerto Rico

my people were enslaved

that’s why so many of us of different shades

run around with the same

last name

and you have the

audacity to tell me

that you’re more Puerto Rican than me

when I embody our forgotten history

or that you’re more Black than me

when you don’t achieve

your people’s dreams

My veins

run full of slaves

and ex-slaves


and unsaved

at one point temporarily insane

in the home of the brave

because freedom still hasn’t rang

we are still slaves

to racist ways

we need to be freed

and save

from each other

skin is something for which there should be no color

black brown or white skin

gives no hint to their story within

© Andréa Agosto 2006

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