Between white and black

Between white and black, there are no shades of grey. There are colors, many! They are the colors of your eyes, your smile, the blue of the sky, the rainbow, the color my body wears just the way there is a color that your body wears as well. I believe that we can here agree on one fact, that we did not choose what color we fell into when we were being rained onto the land called earth. There was a womb that shaped me, so I inherited the color of my mother and my land. Just the way you did.

But you choose to be color-blind. You chose to not see the rainbows when I show them to you while I walk bare-feet in the library staring through the windows. You won’t recognize that today, under the trees and the sun, it smelt of the first day of spring. You choose to be color blind, because it makes it easier for you to categorize on the scale of grey. Because on the grey scale, I resemble your maid, I resemble the women of the brothels, the men of the garbage-trucks and I resemble everything that justifies your superiority over me. And you choose this everyday.

This color-blindness doesn’t come from the womb of your mother, but you bought it from the store because it came packed in a box with your smart-phones. Colors come for free, like the water that the earth gives us. Hence, in your color-blind world, they have no value. Because your ego needs to be fed everyday on your father’s dollars.

I lie between the white and the black, in my many shades of colors. If only for a moment you would choose to not be color-blind, you will discover that the maid in your house is a mother with children who are like you and me. You will discover that your garbage-picker is an amateur photographer, the glass-cleaner a secret singer, that the gum-seller you ignore everyday is the best story-teller you will ever come across.

And I am here, between the white and the black, staring at the flowers, waiting for you to come and see them as well!

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About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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