Poetry {Black History Month}

For the month of February, the blog will be dedicated to the celebration of Black History Month.

We have loved the Casual Conversations and intentional emphasis that Southeastern has devoted to diversity on our campus and in our churches. This month, we will continue the discussion with posts from students and faculty. Our first guest post is from the wonderful Mary Ann McMillan. Read on to be encouraged!

Hi! My name is Mary Ann McMillan, and I am a student in the Doctor of Education program here at Southeastern. I absolutely love it here (so much so that I stayed for the EdD program after graduating with an MAIS in 2013). I have a heart for international missions, and I would love to serve overseas someday as a career missionary. I am so thankful to be here at SEBTS.

My grandmother sent me this poem during a time when I was struggling with being the race that I am. This poem was a great reminder that I needed to find my identity in Christ and not in anything else. Hope you enjoy.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. “

~Proverbs 3:5-6

Mary Ann

Why Did You Make Me Black?
By RuNell Ni Ebo

Why did You make me black?
Why did You make me someone the world wants to hold back?

Black is the color of dirty clothes; the color of grimy hands and feet. Black is the color of darkness; the color of tire-beaten streets.

Why did You give me thick lips, a broad nose and kinky hair? Why did You make me someone who receives the hatred stare?

Black is the color of a bruised eye when somebody gets hurt. Black is the color darkness. Black is the color of dirt.

How come my bone structure’s so thick; my hips and cheeks so high? How come my eyes are brown and not the color of the daylight sky?

Why do people think I’m useless? How come I feel so used? Why do people see my skin and think I should be abused?

Lord, I just don’t understand; What is it about my skin? Why do some people want to hate me and not know the person within?

Black is what people are “listed,” when others want to keep them away. Black is the color of shadows cast. Black is the end of the day.

Lord, You know, my own mistreat me; and I know this just ain’t right. They don’t like my hair or the way I look. They say I’m too dark or too light.

Lord, don’t You think it’s time for You to make a change? Why don’t You re-do creation and make everyone the same?

GOD answered:

Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black?

Get off your knees and look around. Tell Me, what you see? I didn’t make you in the image of darkness. I made you in the likeness of ME!

I made you in the color of coal from which beautiful diamonds are formed. I made you in the color of oil, the black-gold that keeps people warm.

I made you from the rich, dark earth that can grow the food you need. Your color’s the same as the panther’s, known for beauty and speed.

Your color’s the same as the black stallion, a majestic animal is he. I didn’t make you in the image of darkness. I made you in the likeness of ME!

All the colors of the heavenly rainbow can be throughout every nation; And when all of these colors were blended well, you became my greatest creation.

Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool, such a humble creature is he. I am the Shepherd who watches them. I am the One who will watch over thee.

You are the color of midnight-sky, I put the star’s glitter in your eyes. There’s a smile hidden behind your pain, that’s the reason your cheeks are high.

You are the color of dark clouds formed when I send My strongest weather. I made your lips full so when you kiss the one you love, they will remember.

Your stature is strong; your bone structure thick to withstand the burden of time. The reflection you see in the mirror . . . The image that looks back at you is MINE!

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