In The Black

(To hear the performance poetry, scroll to bottom of page.)

Once upon a time and not so long ago, the world was in a fight to stay “in the black,” to keep its financial market solvent and unburdened, and the wads, its money clips, phat.  In the light of CV (i.e., COVID-19, Corona Virus, etc.) things haven’t changed.  It is evident more than ever that the world’s interest in making money takes precedence over the interest of keeping its people safe and alive.  (That’s the way of the world.)

Just the same, not so very long ago, the world operated under the notion that the worst thing known to man was to be born “in the dark” (i.e., to have dark-skin, to be born black, etc.).  Ahh, the ignorance . . . the foolishness of man’s ways.  And, it’s still so evident, even in this time of calamty, that man has not changed. (But the world is a’changin’—heh-heh.)


Few peoples of the world (and even fewer nations) are comfortable in their own skin, in the soil of self . . . in their physical, defining identities.  (Ain’t nothing “wabi-sabi” about it.)

A nearly five-billion-dollar industry has been (largely) created by the Asia-Pacific middle class, producing creams, scrubs, pills, and injections to “lighten” and “brighten” the skin.  Equally, an already double-digit-billion-dollar world market of cosmetic plastic surgery is heavily on the rise.

When you look at the reality of it all, its pretty hilarious.  Man will use apps, filters—any tools necessary—marry “bright” to keep things “light” (you know what I’m talking about), inject themselves and go under-the-knife to avoid any afro-centric association (No daaarkness!  No liiikeness!) . . . because to be dark-skinned, the way the world sees it, is worse than death.

So, you can only imagine the poetic tragedy that was brought to ligth recently (earlier this week) in the age of COVID-19. (Visit for more info.) The media describes it as HORRIFYING!  MENTALLY ANGUISHING!  And, of course, I thought it would be quite relative as I post my first piece for the new addition to TrueBeauty.Life’s menu:  TANNAIM PRESENTS . . .


In these times of dread and confusion (for some) . . . concern and compassion . . . there are moments of laughter (too funny to be true!).  But sadly, these moments are real. It is true. These things are really happening. The true heart of man is being cut open and exposed for all to see—and boy is it ugly.

Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man attended, But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof; I also, in your calamity, will laugh, I will mock when your dread cometh; When your dread cometh as a storm, And your calamity cometh on as a whirlwind; When trouble and distress come upon you.

PROVERBS 1:24 – 26

The pandemic that not so long ago swept into China and was spread so ferociously throughout Italy, Spain and finally, the whole world(!) . . . it now rests at the feet of the dark-skinned peoples.  It’s laughable that somehow, now we are the main carriers and progenitors of it all. (Yes, I am a “dark-skinned” person.  I was born with this beauty.  And, as for me and my house, I wouldn’t change a thing.) But just think . . . what if the cure to overcome the Corona madness, created another madness—turn black or die?! (I’m just sayin’ . . .)

This poem that I present to you, Hebrew Girl (Goin’ Home), was originally entitled Jew Girl (Going Home) and was first written and published (by me, of course) in 1999/2000 © under my [then] pen name Tzenuit.  It was part of a collective work I produced for Ofra Haza, the Yemenite and International Star, in blessed memory, for her 2000 AIDs Quilt panel, (in collaboration with the AGUDAH organization of Israel, an Argentinian gypsy who lived in Italy, and a school teacher out of Texas).


I am Hebrew.  I am not Hebrew because I am black.  I am not black because I am Hebrew.  (Don’t worry yourself; you’ll figure it out.) My people have been scattered to the four corners of this earth.  This is my beauty.  This is my “soil of self,” the earth I was born into.  And, this is my expression . . . my story, the story of my people. 


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