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Half​-​Black Man

from by Danya River

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When I was 19 I went and visited the Omega Insitute, a sort of "adult summer camp" that hosts mostly personal growth workshops. There was a beautiful, exotic-looking young man on staff who was half black but had very light skin, and no one ever could guess his race. We began to spend time together.

He and I attended a workshop for all the staff members. In one exercise, individuals were invited to stand up if they identified themselves as a member of a particular group that was called out. They called out "Jewish", "introverted", "Foreigner" etc... When they called out "African American" my friend stood up to be acknowledged. Evidently this was a very big deal for him as he always had felt that his black identity was invisible to others based on the way he looked even though he was raised almost solely by his black father.

He cried as the group clapped and truly saw him.

We walked under the moonlight that night and he shared about how liberating the experience of being acknowledged for his black heritage.

We kissed and said goodnight.

He wrote a beautiful poem for me when I left Omega and went back to college...


He was nervous like he was thirteen years old
and when we kissed he unbuttoned all the closures to his soul
he dropped a tear from his shocking green eyes
and whispered as he disappeared into the full moon night

He said he'd never felt so loved
for the half-black man that he really was

His mother's skin was white as cream
his father was dark as earth when it rains
and he was somewhere in between
he gives his love to everyone though he's only halfway seen

He said he'd never felt so loved
for the half-black man that he really was

You stood up in a room of white faces
flung your arms and cried "I am the marriage of two races"
and in that moment you felt free
and when we kissed you shared your pair of wings with me

He wrote me a poem on the day I left
He wrote it as he sat and watched me pack my bags
We said goodbye he held my hands
We thanked each other for the blessing of our one-kiss stand

He said he'd never felt so loved
for the whole man that he really was


from Within​/​Without, released January 1, 2001
Danya River: Lead/Harmony Vox, Guitar
Dave Lyons: Upright Bass
Devin Liles: Djembe
Christian Teele: Congas, Talking Drum, Percussion
Additional Harmony Vox: Robert Gass, Bri Friedman, Wil Masisak


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Danya River Boulder, Colorado

Thanks for your support! Check out www.danyariver.com for services including Studio Vocals, Singing Phone-o-Gram and help overcoming vocal shaming.

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