Only Albinos Have White Skin

 

Only Albinos Have White Skin by Harriet Katz

Harriet Katz, reader
Karen Johnson, flute
John Kilkenny, percusson

TEXT
Only albinos have white skin.
They have no melanin.

In parentheses:
people with white splotches have Vitiligo disease.

Drumroll please.

The rest of us have varying amounts of pigmentation,
produced by thousands of years of human migration
through varying amounts of ultra-violet radiation.

Put us all in a row, arranged by skin tone—we form a spectrum.
Races don’t exist in nature. Racism invented them.

Make-up companies nowadays
Feature the spectrum in their displays.
L’Oreal: porcelain to nut brown.
Maybelline: espresso back to porcelain.

It didn’t used to be that way.
Fashion Fair Cosmetics— Black Radiance today–
introduced make-up for deeper skin in 1973.
Major companies followed swiftly,
Selling deeper skin tone lines –BUT separately.
The inclusivity spectrum has only been marketed recently.

Footnote:
There’s another spectrum of skin colors too.
Bruises give ROY-G-VB.
Thank you.

words and music ©2019 by Harriet Katz ASCAP

These performances took place at the Baltimore Composer’s Forum’s concert “Spring Assortment” on April 7, 2019 at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

This performance was supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Return to Program