Rise Women Rise: Dianna

Guest Story by Dianna

As the doors to the yellow bus open I had to mentally prepare myself for the 45 min of teasing and taunting by the lighter skinned kids that rode the same school bus with me every morning, for some reason they felt, that just because I was a different shade of color, I was the one that was strange , I was what our African American race called “Dark Skinned” the darker you are or were the more you were teased.

As I began walking down the aisle, looking for a friendly face that would invite me to sit down next to them, none, not one, wanted me to sit near them. Even the overweight kids were scared to let me sit by them for fear that they would get teased to.

Soon I found a seat all alone, no one to protect me and then it began the sound of the words began to enter into my ears, then my heart and then my soul, and then my eyes and soon the tears were able to hear those degrading words, and with each word the tears fell slowly at first one by one, and as the words increased with the laughter, the tears increased.

“Dianna Demaree is black as the night.”

“Why are you so black and ugly”

“Are your parents monkeys or gorillas? Is that why you look like a black ape?”

Burnt toast, black tar, tar baby, coal black, black as the night, your ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, black and ugly, black cry baby she even cries black tears!

I covered my ears with my hands trying to protect my heart, praying to God that He would make them stop, I prayed to God asking Him to send my mother to come and get me off this bus. But their words kept getting louder and louder. Oh how crushed inside I was, oh how I hated myself and especially God, how could He make someone so black and so ugly?

It was now in my heart and I believe it!

Finally we arrived at our school, I really don’t know what hurt the most the teasing or the laugher of maybe even a mixture of both. I had to hide my tears, I had to hold them inside so that the teacher would not see them, protecting the mockers as well as myself or else the teasing would increase more. Walking down the hallway to the girls bathroom, I found an empty stall and there was my place of sanctuary where I let my tears comfort my soul.

It took many of years before I had gotten to a place of whenever I looked into a mirror, I no longer seen that Gorilla-Monkey looking thing anymore. I still at times battle with my self-seteem, but I’m getting better at loving myself everyday one day at a time.


The Dark Girls Movie- Rise  Women Rise Campaign seeks to share their stories of healing, empowerment, and triumph. We know this issue goes beyond the United States and Black people. This is for ALL women from around the world. If you have a written story or video, please submit here.

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One Response to Rise Women Rise: Dianna

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your story touched me in ways you can never imagine. I grew up up with the same taunts not exactly the same words but I remember being isolated and bullied because my skin was dark and because I posessed strong african features. I was too scared to tell my family and even now I have told no one my stories of the sense of loneliness and despair it brought upon me. It took years for me to also realise that I was beautiful. God has been faithful in my struggles and I can only pray that my children will never experience what i have experienced. Thank you for sharing your story.

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