Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Global & Multicultural

The Color Black Through Russia, India and China: A Dramatic Poem

This is a poem that was recited at the Martin Luther King Leadership Day which reflects on observations about being black throughout Salome Mosehle’s study abroad experience. 

Thomas Chatterton Williams wrote of the power of travel, “the more I’d ventured from my own backyard and projected myself into the world—the more I found myself unwilling to preemptively cordon off any of it.” How has your travel changed the way you view the world and the people in it?


The Color Black Through Russia, China and India: A Dramatic Poem

Russia- A Black Woman’s Plight

On the streets of St. Petersburg, a black woman walked

With a burly white man, they talked

On Russian politics and the like

Economics and how oil prices took a hike


But to her surprise

Two white men came to her demise

They daunted and screamed, “Africa… Africa”

And followed her closely almost touching her.


The white burly man stood to protect her with deft

And to her good fortune they finally left

But no one can wipe her memory clean

And no one can wipe the color of her skin.


China- A Curiosity 

Whether black or white, the curiosity abounds

Chinese people asking to take pictures all around

With you and your foreign looks

“Nee hao” is enough of a hook.


But to the black female, children point

Their fingers stretching strongly from their joints

For they have never seen such a pigment

Could this be part of an imaginary figment?


A black friend once said, after years in Shanghai

To the Chinese I’m a curiosity, I cannot deny

Initially I knew they meant no harm

But I can’t change my skin color, like I can’t change my palm.


India- The Black Stereotype

Brown people, black people very close hues

So there weren’t many different social cues

India indeed felt like a solace

Free from ignorance or straight malice.


But perceptions hid beneath the surface, you see

Stereotypes about you and me

Black people are strong, agile, well-trained

So fit, athletic but other topics, we choose to feign.


Am I saying that black is victimized?

Am I saying that black is perfect, not to be criticized?

No, I am saying that black needs a fresh paint brush

in someone’s brain- something more real, not something lush.


My small black and someone else’s

Might be the window to new addresses

The black man will now be free

In the minds of those who will let him be.