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The Lingering Sound of Your Voice

Imprinted on the eight-yr-old

Like a Leaf Cast Within a Rock

Never to be Escaped

Always Haunting

Always Shouting





The Frightened Child


Within Her Rock

Left to Harden

And Fear

That the Biracial Child

Wasn’t Enough

As a child, I was yelled at by a black woman, this woman was a friend of my adoptive mother, who publicly embarrassed me for my ashy skin. While I know she was trying to help educate me about how to nourish my skin, it was a traumatic event that has followed me for the majority of my life. It was an experience that made me feel ashamed to be biracial and made me question whether I deserved to be half black. In order to reclaim my worth, I created Ashen, where I have centered myself within this piece surrounded by a bed of flowers. This piece is comprised of ornate flowers in the shape of a triangle broken off with ornate curtains that resemble an interior setting. Ashen depicts the lingering past of not feeling whole within my skin complexion and the continuous search of wholeness as a biracial person. There are several flowers seen throughout my piece, but my use of Dahlia’s symbolizes a specific meaning throughout Ashen. While there are various meanings that are associated with Dahlia’s my piece is specifically referencing the inner strength it takes to overcome the shame of not knowing how to care for my skin. The Black Dahlia flower which symbolizes sadness and correlates to the black woman who yelled at me at a young age. The various colors of Dahlias, such as orange, pink, black (dark burgundy) tells a story of sadness and self-assurance. This piece is an altar. As I erected this altar, I created a space of healing for myself.


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