Dark-Skinned Brother

Yessie Perez
They don't let me inside of their home because I am the dark-skinned brother, but they let me inside when it is time to clean and cook. I stay outside their property to eat and sleep every day. It's like racial segregation—no freedom, no rights, and no equality. I thought discrimination against colored people in America ended after the Civil RightsMovement, but it is clear that racism is still alive. It's hard when it rains as there is no roof above my head. When the night cold comes, I shiver but no blanket in my hands.This all feels like a nightmare to me. I'm laying in a puddle of water and it feels like my face is drowning. This chilly wind got my lips drying and, on top of that, I got a headache. The house owners stay inside watching television in their comfortable fervent couch while I'm out here listening to the alarming thunders, anxiously knocking on their windows, begging for their help. I clean, cook, and hand wash their clothes. I go back outside to relax in front of the porch. The white man comes out and throws me to the ground, says “What do you think, black boy? You're not allowed to sit back and just lay around! You are suppose to keep on working until the clock hits twelve! Now get to it or else, I'll have to bring out the belt!” This isn't right. This isn't life. This isn't fair. I'm not doing anything brutal that would justify him treating me as if I committed a crime. He is treating me like I don't deserve the same opportunities as him because he is white and I am black. This is not what Martin Luther King fought for. For whites to continue discriminating and using violence against colored people all over the world? No. For whites to take colored children and use them as their slaves? No. And we are still treated as animals, with no respect, as if we deserve nothing but to be vanished. We African-Americans are also part of America. America is a country where everyone should be treated equally, with equal treatments and rights. Race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religions, and ancestors should not matter. So I ask myself, why so much discrimination against African-Americans?

After losing her second transplanted kidney, Yessenia Gutiérrez had to start dialysis again. She is also a liver recipient. Fortunately, her liver is fine. What keeps Yessenia motivated throughout the struggles is writing. Writing is her life, it is her passion. Yessenia is one of the strongest people I know. There is never a day when she feels tired, even after her dialysis treatments she still smiles and does all her chores. She enjoys taking long walks, watching horror movies, and playing with her dogs. Yessenia doesn’t let kidney disease get in the way of her life. She stays confident and courageous, keeps doing what she loves most, and stays happy no matter what. Right now, she only wants one thing. A kidney, but not just any kidney, one that will match her perfectly. One that will last her many years. One that will change her life!

"Old Messy Kitchen Cutlery" by dejankrsmanovic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!