• Samantha Alethea Inniss


Updated: Apr 8

Written February 27, 2012

I just wanna be equal, Equal!.....

So that you don't have a pause in your sentence because your thoughts are set on my color or the stereotypes associated with it.

I just wanna be equal, Equal!

So your uncertainty whether you should hire me are not because you see my face doesn't match my articulate speech that you heard before you saw me or my all American name my mother named me so that I wouldn’t endure the possible discrimination that others have

for being named a name fitting to my culture and my heritage.

I just wanna be equal, Equal!

So that you don’t assume I like rap music before I mention that I do,

Or so that you don’t talk ignorant with me and assume slang words would make you and I cool

or so that you don’t get too friendly and think it’s ok to use the infamous n-word that cuts me to the depths of my soul when your lips utter the very word.

I, just wanna be equal, Equal!

You tell me get over it that the issues ended with the movements, well let's switch skin for a day and watch as you pray for an escape from the realities that be-----segregation in education, profiling, degradation, shoot 50 shots with the “just” cause that they thought they saw a weapon or felt it was self-defense to kill when the only armor was a hoodie, ice tea and skittles or how about my horrific past memories of being the strange fruit hanging from the trees for the whole town to watch in glee.

I just wanna be equal, Equal!

Instead my life is takin' away in your updated and newly revised Willie "Lynch-ing" games, even though things still remain the same, either you approve societal behaviors against me or you simply look the other way

and then to point the blame at me for the way I behave?

See, ole’ Willie was smart when playing these controlling mind games.

Take simple differences and blow it out of proportion,

That trick that lured great great granddaddy from his kingdom, to selling his own possessions to having him working in fields of cotton and cane against his own will in a country other than his own….

he didn’t even realize the intentions,

no longer knowing his worth

had him influencing that self-hatred for generations.

I was born learning to embrace your differences while learning to not like many of my own,

I just wanna be equal, Equal! Can you embrace my own uniqueness?

Can you accept my naturally wool-like hair that may appear untamed because my curly tresses lack straightness?…unless I burn my scalp with harsh chemicals, fry it between two hot iron plates, or Dominican blow it out so that it could have the same silky look as yours and be considered “presentable” in public.

I just wanna be equal, Equal!

Being the only one like me in the room is not always a walk in the park,

either I’m considered to be exotic because I’m pretty for my kind or just noticed as the only one whose dark…

Dammit! I JUST WANNA BE-no I need to be, equal, I need to feel, free, I need me some justice when you are unjust to me and I need, need, need for you to learn about me and understand my differences as I have always had to & still do yours.

No one is of supremacy but the supreme one above,


This pic is the last time this poem was performed on a NYC stage back in 2014. I grew tired of hearing my own words and no longer wanted to hear myself speak the same lines when nothing was changing.

I was reminded while scrolling online that 9 years ago tonight was the very same night when we lost another human being to circumstances that shouldn’t have been.

I couldn’t sleep and stayed up all night and wrote this piece in 2012 after hearing the tragedy on the news all day. I dug it up tonight to take a look back at my words and thought I should share it again during these times. May we continue to say their names and may they rest in power.

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