By Kassie Baker

Growing up I was a little brown girl with braids
Playing with my cousins at grandma’s house
But when people looked at us they only saw future maids
It was the same wherever we went, even in Taos

Strangers would look and lock their doors
Thinking we would steal something from their cars
But these are the kinds of things that we would ignore
We wore these remarks like scars

Growing up I’ve been wanting nothing more than to be white
Then I wouldn’t be targeted as a criminal
Maybe even being a little more light
But then I would be a copy and not an original

Then my grandpa once told me, “brown is beautiful”
And that is what made me proud to be brown
I was not going to be what they thought was suitable
I was going to wear my braids as a crown

My skin is sun-kissed
My hair is still in braids
I find that people find it hard to resist
I am no longer seen as a future maid

Because of my grandpa, I’ve been proud of the color of my skin
I’m now an educated woman who wants to inspire
Other little girls to believe themselves from within
We will show them a brown skin girl to admire

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