This title reminds me of the worldwide epidemic of judgement of character based on the outside appearance of a man.

Take a black man anywhere in the world, his black skin a curse to him as it will be used to measure his character and stature. As black has seemed to represent all that is dark and evil in the world, he will suffer at the hands of many as they deem him a criminal. Many will shy away from him, hiding themselves for fear of this dark, murderous spirit that must reside within him -that has caused his skin to be as black as the night. His black skin casts a shadow on his gentleness and kindness so that one cannot see it just by looking at him. His skin is the first thing that people see and for fear of it, nobody dares venture any further to unveil the man hidden beneath. A man with pride and dignity, a man who fights and works for his children and a man who uses his hands and the sweat of his brow to care for his offspring while, gently nurturing his beloved wife. A young man who hopes and dreams for a better future, a man who lives to see the radiance of his mother’s proud smile as the black boy she raised becomes a man who did not let his skin overpower him. A man who lovingly and protectively treats his sisters with dignity and respect. If only one would venture through the barrier that is his skin, his covering, one would see beauty. A vibrant book full of stories that would captivate the mind, full of textures and life, full of possibilities and hope for the future.

A black woman is more than the skin that covers her, but a vision full of grace and motherly kindness. She is not just one made for the gardens and the kitchens, destined to bear the illegitimate children from her youth, but she is full of intelligence and vision. She is a woman longing to be heard, a voice that has spoken life and comfort to her children for generations as she raised them by herself. She is a woman who would swallow her pride for the sake of her children and no sacrifice is too much to ask. She is an immaculate representation of love and wisdom. She is a woman longing to be seen, to be far more than the deep brown or light yellow skin that covers her. But one will never know these things about her, as one cannot see past the curly hair that doesn’t seem to grow and black skin that gloriously covers her body -and seems to conceal the depth and beauty of her soul.

If one would venture past the covering of each person, one would discover riches in culture, layers and layers of beauty and intricacies woven into each one, with complexities and pleasures that the mind could only imagine, but alas the cover of the book hinders us all. The saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is true. For you never know the jewels you can discover within. Oceans of knowledge, rivers of wisdom and sometimes just the pure pleasure of companionship, that is not hindered by the covering but strengthened as each one will learn from the other, because each book has its own lessons to teach.