Lessons Learned

By:Tyler Taylor
Art by: Viyanca Bennett

The Hustle Never Stops

Daddy grew up dark as dirt
A nappy-headed boy from the city of Cleveland
Lottery tickets and race track stubs inhabited his hands
Looked down upon by the white man
Got told to “get away from his daughter”
Walked horses the same color as him for hours
The white man called the horse beautiful
But Daddy was ugly
Daddy grew up dark as dirt

Mommy grew up with skin the color of caramel
Church pamphlets and hot combs were a second set of hands for her
Pretty for a black girl
Groomed to be a housewife
Mommy’d stay in town forever ‘cuz Erie was her home
Mommy grew up with skin the color of caramel

City of Angels
City of Champions
2 plane tickets and the city of Inglewood
The pretty girl with caramel skin and the dark boy meet
Pockets full of dirty money and minds full of ideas
Hungry for success
And all that came with it.
Dark boy hustled all his life
Dark boy grinds all his life
Dark boy becomes his own boss
Pretty girl buys Gucci, Louis, Tiffany
Pretty girl and dark boy have finally made it
In the City of Angels
The City of Champions

Full plate
Thriving business
4 kids, 3 dark like daddy
1 with skin like caramel
Dark babies attend school with people not like them
People with skin like snow
They stick out like a sore thumb
Babies are taught to be like Daddy
Follow his footsteps
Told “you have to work twice as hard to get half of what they got”
Dark babies wonder who “they” is for years
They work hard like Mommy and Daddy
Lessons learned

Full Plate