Teenage poet making us proud to be from Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A local 18-year-old poet is making us proud to be from Pittsburgh. Jordan Scott is an Oakland Catholic high school student who has won two local poetry writing awards, including one from Carnegie Mellon University.

Scott is also a Crossroads scholar, participating in a program which helps teenagers in underserved communities throughout Allegheny County attend local Catholic high schools. The local nonprofit supports 150 students this school year and guides them through the college application process and a mentor program.

Scott says she found a passion for writing and it’s given her a voice to share her perspective of being a black female in today’s world. Her poem “Miss Mulatto” won her first place in her school at the Carnegie Mellon University MLK Writing Awards. This year, she took second at Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter MLK writing competition.

Her poem, which can be read below, is about acceptance.

“It’s about acceptance, it’s about being more open minded of other people’s experiences,” said Jordan Scott. “Just learning to ask mindful questions.”

Scott is now deciding which college she will go to. She plans to stay in the area and study political science.

Miss Mulatto

By: Jordan Scott

My mother’s skin is

Dark like the midnight sky

Her complexion is

smooth like chocolate

Her thick braids

worn like a crown on her head

Are a symbol

of her natural beauty

Her features are larger than

life itself

Her figure is easy on the eyes

Not flaunted as if

asking for unwanted attention

But exuding confidence in her image

Despite the foul history

that plagues her people

And the false ideas that

Some still cling to

Like scriptures from the Lord’s

good Book

But still she continues to rise

As Maya Angelou did during more difficult times

Not angry with the world for her fate

But learning to leave the past behind

And ignore people whose minds are forever content

With believing the one-story trope of a black woman

My father’s image

on the other hand

Is like the yang to her yin

His blue eyes and straight brown hair

His Ivory skin

and lighter complexion

Were like a silver spoon

A permanent leg up on the competition

And a golden ticket to live life on a whim

The difference between my father

and others with The same privilege

is this;

He never used the ticket

He saw color

but he also saw

Composure

And personality

And how people carried themselves

And that’s why he chose my mom

Over any plastic Barbie doll

that could have been his

Dream girl

And his trophy wife

thus completing the seemingly perfect picture

Of the typical American family

But my dad didn’t want the perfect life

And he didn’t want to live easy and carefree

What he wanted was a wife

And at that someone who had

confidence Enough

to be true to herself

And understand where she came from

Someone who had come to accept

the way things were

Because she knew that

all some people would see when

They looked at her

Was a mad black woman with issues that

Stemmed from a

Very Long and

Very Ugly history

That Some people would

never bother to understand

At times they noticed how different they were

When they would walk hand in hand

Living without a care in the world

As though they were the only souls that existed

On God’s green earth

Until they noticed

the stares of an audience

Who didn’t know how to feel

about the times That were changing

faster than the Colors of the sky

at different times of the day

But like fresh caramel they stuck together

And they rose above the words of hate

And the non-believers who underestimated

The strength of their hearts and

The love they had for each other

And that’s why after fifteen years of memories

And fifteen years of getting to know each other

And finding common ground to stand on

As well as trying to realize

That there were differences

they wouldn’t ever Understand Completely

but learned to accept as though

it was their own life being told to them

Church bells rang and they made their love known

To a sea of people with smiling faces more unique than

The snowflakes during the first snow of

The winter season

And three years after that

I was introduced to the world

At first glance my complexion

was pale like my father’s

But as i grew older

my skin developed

a tone as thick as honey

My eyes were hazel

instead of brown or blue

And as I grew my own mane of hair

I noticed it was

nothing like my mom’s or my dad’s

It never had a lot of kinks

but it wasn’t as fine and straight

as it could’ve been

And it proved a challenge at first

when my mother tried to give it

the same treatment as her own

But my troubles only grew

when I started school

and Children who didn’t

understand my uncommon situation

Would point

and stare

and call me names

because they were too young

To understand that there was beauty in my appearance

And my differences were a part of my identity

And that even though I knew I was different

I didn’t like people asking to touch my hair

Because I don’t enjoy feeling like some show pony

At a petting zoo

And i didn’t like being asked questions

That I didn’t understand

about myself at the time

Because even though

they were only being curious

I still felt like an alien of sorts

A being held in A lab

Separated by sound-proof glass

as scientists tried to figure out

Who I was and why I existed

But as I matured I saw it for myself

A light bulb turned on in my brain

And I had an epiphany

That I needed to realize

so much sooner than I did

I used to see my existence

as two different paths

And I used to try and choose

which path to Walk down

Which stereotype to fit into

Which role to play in a society

That’s still trying to change itself

for the better

But now I know that

I am an experience

And I’m an experience that some people

Will never understand

And that’s why they would

make ignorant comments

They didn’t understand

the reason people that

Look like me are the new normal

In the melting pot we call home

And some people never will understand

Who I am

And what I’m all about

And the fact that I don’t fit into

A mold that has no real

value

Or significance

Or control over who I choose to be

And that’s okay

Because I now understand that

I am me

And I won’t let

what others expect me to be

And what people

expect me to act like

Dictate my actions like a puppet

Whose strings are tied on too tight

Because I am who I am

And that’s all that matters