Through Our Eyes

Nicole Dixon

The windy city. My town, Chi-town. Chicago. 

Home of the Sears tower. Yes, Sears. Always  

and forever that will be its name. Black 

Hawks, Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and the White 

Sox all reside here. As do I and so many others. 

Chicago, through our eyes. 


Through my ten-year-old eyes. 

We drove down the highway toward north Chicago. 

Park. Get Out. “Look both ways and hold one the other’s 

hand.”  My father, little brother, and I walked the crossway 

hand in hand when a car full of white 

men drove by and hollered “niggers.” I learned I was black. 


The car’s tires faded down the black 

pavement. My father’s head still high, his eyes 

never looking back. But he’s wishing he could white- 

out this moment like the error that it is. Chicago, 

where he moved his family to stop getting the side-ways 

looks. But no matter where we go, we will always be seen as “other.” 


“They know they belong in the other neighborhood.”  

“They may be light but they’re still black.”  

“They probably came over here to steal, they always 

Do.” When they see us through their eyes, 

I imagined what went through their minds after seeing us in “their”

     part of Chicago.  

“No matter where they go, they will never be good enough because they’re

     not white.” 


Although it is no longer 1893, there are still devils in this White  

City. Be careful because they will disguise themselves as something other. 

“Everything will be fine, as long as you stay on your side of Chicago.” 

“Black is the new black  

(as long as it’s not the people).”  

“You and I will never be the same, and that will be, always.” 


But eventually, everything must change, and all our old ways 

will be washed away just like white 

walls after the smoke clears and eyes 

after we cry. Because the truth is we only have each other 

when the sky goes dark, and the night is black 

and all we can see is the skyline of Chicago. 


Through my eyes, I will always  

see what Chicago can be. No longer just the White 

City, but welcoming to all others forever until the world goes black.  

Contributor's Note

Nicole Dixon is a senior majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. She has always been drawn to spoken word and poetry, and thanks to RBR, she finally found the courage to share her passion. She plans to self-publish a short chapbook after she graduates, titled (as of now), Kaleidoscope Visions. Nicole would like to thank her many professors at SIUE, RBR, her loved ones, and especially Kyle, all of whom have uplifted and inspired her to continue to be herself.