Tomorrow is another day that many of us wear masks and make-up to become someone else for the day. I am thinking of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear the Mask” that reads:
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile…
The poem speaks of a time when people of African descent pretended to be less capable, less smart…wore the mask of a stereotype. But they knew they were wearing a mask for the purpose of survival…and the mask was not who they were. Many of our children wear a mask that is based on a belief system that gives credibility to the stereotype, because some of them believe the stereotype defines them. This is not new. I wrote a poem in the 70’s that spoke to the issue of us mindlessly believing we had to be someone else’s definition of us. It was called, “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Black.“ Provocative title. We need to think about it. We may be complicit in what our children believe it means to be black. Today we wear a physical mask because of the pandemic. This inspired a favorite poem of mine that I wrote recently called Just One Favor
Day 21:Just One Favor
Copyright 2020 Lindamichelle Baron
There is just one favor I’d like to ask,
Could you please wear a smile under your mask?
Yes, there is a virus we have to fight,
But we still need our eyes to reflect the light.
We are acting as if we have been defeated
Like the toilet paper aisle, we’ve been depleted.
Do some of the things you needed to get done.
Rediscover ways to make life fun.
You need to remember what you already know
There is a spirit inside. Recapture that glow.
We are made in the likeness of God
So giving each other love shouldn’t be hard. There is just one favor I’d like to ask. Could you please wear a smile under your mask
Hope you enjoyed Day 21. Would you like me to light a spark at your school, college, house-of-worship, conference or organization? If your answer is yes, please click on this link to book me: https://www.mylindamichellebaron.com/book-dr-lindamichelle.html
Love and realness,