By Marcus Jackson, Ed.D.
Posted on June 27, 2020
To be me is rough, robust, and plenty of other stuff. Even at the reveal party, everyone sighed at the color blue as they knew the hell I’ll have to go through. You have no idea how it feels to be me.

I’m only five, and I can feel my demise. If I know the answer in school and get excited and yell it out, I’m in trouble. I can’t even cry if I fall and break my arm. I have to man up. You have no idea how it feels to be me.

I’m ten now, and it’s official. I’m feared, and I’m a target. White women cross the street as I’m approaching, I’m followed in stores, purses are held tight in elevators, and I’m still being suspended in school for being disrespectful by not following the rules by yelling out the answers. I got excited as they were the only two answers I knew all year. When I return from suspension, you’ll never have to worry about me answering any questions again. I hate school now. You have no idea how it feels to be me.

I’m in high school now, and I’m treated differently, though. I think the 20.5 points a game may have something to do with it. I’m not suspended for yelling out the answers now. However, I’m still followed in stores, purses are still held tightly while in elevators, and now I’m followed every time white police sees me. They’ll cross all lanes just to get behind me. They just follow until I get home or turn into a place of business. As they pass me, they always look at me and smile. You have no idea how it feels to be me.

I’m a high school and college graduate now and was told that my education was an equalizer, and I’ll be free. However, it feels even worse, even though I have a doctoral degree. The same actions occur from when I was ten, even though I wear a suit. I have a wide nose, I like skittles, I like to jog, and my money was said to be counterfeit. Well, that’s a death sentence for me. I’m a black man, and you have no idea how it was to be me.