Monday Musings: The Skin I’m In


The month designated to packaging thousands of years of Black history and culture into a palatable melting pot of ‘facts’ supposedly beginning with colonialism and ending with Harriet Tubman freeing slaves.

And yet, despite being a month that should encourage honest conversations about how far we’ve come and how far we still are from truly embracing Equality and Diversity, Trump-mania is on the rise, #IAmMogadishu is not a thing and last week a stranger matter of factly stated that being Pro-Black is the same as being anti-White.

No. It is not.

Because when my little sister held her arm up to compare her gorgeous mahogany skin aside my lighter complexion and questioned her afro puffs, the familiar gnaw of watching a young Black girl grow up in a society that places limitations on her beauty and Blackness resurfaced.

And so in response her current and future self… an ode to the Skin I’m In.


The Skin I’m in.
Yes ma’am, I’ve got that Melanin
that means my cells swim
in a pool of iridescent pigment that colours me, Brown.

Ochre, tan, caramel, mahogany, high-yellow, black-blue ink.
I am the earth and I am the single drop of a coffee bean in palest milk.

I cannot begin to describe
the feelings stirred to the surface
when some question the purpose
Of the Skin I’m in.

My Skin has Functionality.

My Skin is Multi-Dimensional.

My Skin is Beauty.

My Skin is Power.

Take heed those who proceed to mock
and degrade and belitte. Take stock
of the Cradle of Mankind
In Africa’s plains.
I am the First of our Kind.

Scars and bruises,
Hard knocks and life’s bruises
They all hide in the warm tones of my limbs. The warming sun is filtered and my skin pulses… unaltered
by UV rays.

It’s in my DNA.

So yes ma’am, I embrace my Melanin.
I jump and dance with unbridled joy of all that is out and is within.
Because I LOVE the Skin I’m in.

© Dr Noreen Nguru

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7 comments on “Monday Musings: The Skin I’m In”

  1. Hi Noreen,
    I love the power of this piece. I was wondering if I could reprint it at The Seeker’s Dungeon as a guest post for this months Rage Against the Machine series. I think it would be a great addition to the series and I would of course link back to this blog. If you’d like to check out the full prompt you can find it here: You have a beautiful site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning Sreejit (if you are based in a GMT time zone!). I’m so appreciative of the time you’ve taken to review and understand the words I wrote… I’ve been following the Rage Against The Machine email newsletter for a while now and it would be am honour to be featured as a guest blogger :)
      Do let me know if there’s any upcoming collabs you’re working on. My info is in the bio x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. The piece works well as a stand alone. I hope the readers will understand the context without an intro. What do you think?


  2. My God! This poem is Sooo beautiful, on time, on point & raises the self esteem of any person with just even a small drop of African blood or the darkest of midnight Africans with extra pigmentation. I Love this so much! Did you write it? I screenshot it & I have to repost really soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the encouragement, thank you! One of the first original poems I’ve published. The theme of self-love is ever evolving but incredibly poignant in today’s society for many reasons.

      You are welcome to repost with a linkback to the original post :)

      Stay blessed l


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