The game commences:

Two sides compete as a checkered board lay flat under the swiftly moving pawns. Racial tension towers above them with a vile smirk across its face hosting the whole charade. The prancing fingers came out to play. She of color let out a faint sigh wondering if her defeat is nigh. The simple action of drawing breath, a sign that we are still alive. We breathe the same air, we share the same world, we’re part of the same species of boys and girls. Yet we wield swords that reflect anger and hatred towards one another’s differences.

He that plays white moves his pawn first. He holds the empowerment in his arms. There will be no exception; only he must take the initial step; and those rules must abide. She with black will follow suit with no recognition of potential traps that hide a conundrum of mind games. As they played and played as time slipped by it turned into multiple days. The top of the hierarchy, to be the best or at least somewhere in the mix of sophistication or pride. For this they both attempt to strive. She’s a mere shadow in the image of the entitled; she must advance herself. He started at the same point but has ways around dilemmas she can’t access. A melanin roadblock, no sign of victory for her in this game of chess.

To obtain the king. A tactical gamble of sacrifices; anything to reach their own goal. Carefully awaiting their plans to unfold. They send the knights, the bishops, rooks even the queens. They swipe each other’s pieces till there’s not much left on the board to be seen. Her patience tears at the seams. She feasts upon the last bit of hope that gleams. The floating scintilla of stereotypes still lingers amongst them both. Leaving those scattered checkers beneath the pieces as the fallen heroes.

She sees crimson waters flowing down a seemingly never-ending stream. Every splash burns her like acid. Every drop insults her heritage. It’s lost its tranquility, engulfed in the war between different melanin shades. She hears them, they who risked their lives so long ago. Their cries and encouraging words somewhere within the chaos. Their valiant efforts so she could stand there today. She strives to become better so their hard work wouldn’t be in vain.

It’s a suffocating room in which they sit. She fears his intimidation as the silence speaks louder than words which pounds her head with anxiousness as her hands begin to twitch. She finds an opening, a way to prove her worth, a way to prove that even she can be first. She stands on equal footing on the checkered chess board with him. Although her invasion is countered her overall strategy has yet to fail. She keeps on climbing showing that she can prevail. She’d start all over if she had to, on a clean slate. In this endless time warp room, she asks herself, “Is this Checkmate?”