Several of you have asked about the word count for this contest(500) and you have diligently stayed within the limit, wishing you could apply more words. Unlike contests in the past, where adherence to the word count was meant as an exercise in discipline to make us better writers, we are more interested here with you telling your story. Try to keep it to 500 words, but you will not be disqualified if you exceed the limit.
Having said that, Briana Beaver has managed to tell a complete story with just 174 words. Any more text would be superfluous. Brilliant. Here is
Black Like Her
By Briana Beaver
My best friend in first grade was black. I admired her dark skin, the way rivulets of water slid down her pigtail braids without ever absorbing, and how her irises concealed her pupils. I wanted to be black, too, like her. I asked her if the world looked different to her because of her charcoal- colored eyes. Perched on the steps of her pool, she cocked her head and told me she didn’t know. Then she asked me the same question, did I see things differently than she did because my eyes are hazel. I gave her the same answer; I didn’t know.
But now, I do.
Yes. The answer is yes. I’m just now realizing the privilege it was for me to dream of being black. While I envied her beauty and multicultural family, she was trudging through the real world. And she still is, perhaps fearing for her life over the very details that in conjunction with her sweet vulnerability, made her so beautiful to me.
How did this conversation get lost? Use your talents to rekindle it, empower it. Please tell your story, and SHARE your story. Be part of the conversation, part of the healing. Our prompt and submission guidelines here: https://awordwithyoupress.com/2017/11/10/the-drinking-fountain-healing-history/