What Is Color?- Q&A with Asma Bakari, Winner of Black History Month Art Contest


Margaret Holmes

What makes you like poetry over other art forms?

I can’t really draw, that’s why I chose poetry, and I can’t do music, at least I haven’t learned how to play any music, and writing is really easy for me. I guess or I have a way with words.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

It means recognition of the past–like, this country trying to recognize its bad past to minorities in general, not just black people.

How did you come up with the idea for your poem? 

I just thought about color for some reason. And then I just kept writing. I just kind of wrote it down on the spot for about 10 minutes while thinking about color. I think I wrote it from the perspective of minorities in this country and personal feelings about it.

What did you mean by the line, ‘I now Understand’?

 When I mentioned sculptors in one of my lines I meant the sculptors were oppressors, and they pin minorities against each other, and then minorities focus on each other instead of focusing on the bigger problem. They keep fighting and fighting and fighting and then later, when I wrote ‘’I now understand,” it meant that at least the majority of them understand that they’re being pitted against each other by the oppressors. And then they’re coming together, finally, to stand up against discrimination.

What is Color?

by Asma Bakari

A concept created to divide.
It’s relevance still stands.
Hardships conquered.
A long way to go.
What is color?

Diverged minorities.
Satisfied sculptors.
Ironies blinded.
Myths broadened.
What is color?

Truth seen
Woke wits
Carvers questioned.
Time diminished.
I now understand.