I Once. . .

I Once. . .

By Iszel Glover


I once was called the N-word (actually prolly bout 1000x)

I once was told by a female classmate in middle school that God left me in the oven too long

I once was told that “u are blacker than my crack”

I once was told that “we were nothing but ni@@as from the home”

I once was told that I only dated white girls

I once was asked by a cop when pulled over to not say a word as he asked my white girlfriend if she was there against her will

I once married a black woman

I once was humiliatingly arrested in a mall in West Virginia bcuz I supposedly was writing stolen bad checks for stereo equipment so said the three white women that followed me around the mall for 30minutes (the two white guys I was with were told to go home) 

I once was told by Black Africans in my class that they hate that black ppl in America call themselves African American bcuz we’ve never been to Africa 

I once was told to go back to Africa if I don’t like the way things are done here

I once thought I had a unique perspective being from Philly, growing up in a group home in white country, then to a predominantly white school w a reputation (WVU) and then to an HBCU (Lincoln Univ)

I once was telling a story to my family and my cousin told me to “talk regular, you’re not around your white friends”

I once was told “I bet if I turn you inside out, I’ll see nothing but white”

I once felt that both sides disliked me

I once chose English as a major bcuz I didn’t want to fall into the stereotype that all black men can only be gym teachers 

.....NOT ONCE did I ever want to trade spots with anyone and be anything but BLACK

NOT ONCE did I ever want to be light black in hopes of sliding by

NOT ONCE was I ever rendered speechless but lately I’ve been quiet w not much to say 

NOT ONCE in 44yrs have I felt optimistic about the this CHANGE that is necessary

I once was told I had a gift and I choose to effect change in my own little community


For ONCE will YOU talk to your grandparents that keep the chains on, for ONCE will YOU tell your siblings and aunts and uncles that enough is enough. For ONCE will YOU tell your colleague that the off-color joke is offensive and indeed not funny....

FOR ONCE....PLEASE......because

I ONCE believed in all of us and right now I’m a little discouraged because KNEES OR TREES, either way it’s still lynching me. 

Now GO VOTE! (Food pics from here on)



  • Yvonne

    Well said nephew – life experiences and traumas can either weaken or strengthen one’s resolve. Use your gift – effect change in your own little community and the world. (And I did vote).
  • Bri

    Very deep and profound my brother!

  • Cindy

    Well said

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