Erased

I am Black

A race named after the richness of skin

A race deemed unclean

And for centuries; believed so

What does it mean to be Black?

That I have seen the sun more

Or—

Simply a mixed up race?

A chase

To find out who I truly am

My momma told me I had a bit of Cherokee

Somewhere up my tree

And that's all I know

Who am I?

By the color of my skin I am told I am African

But they must not understand

Africa is a continent

That cannot be pinpointed by a “catch all” phrase

Could I be Zulu, or Bantu, Ethiopian, Nigerian

West African or Ghanaian

But I am left with one clue

African

Even by now had I known

Where I would call home

Could I ever return?

We’ve been gone for so long

A home? We’ve made our own

Devised a culture from what’s been given

We’ve turned it into something we could take pride in

When it comes down to it

Why is it a problem to show pride

In what has been accomplished and done

Because of those who died?

When it comes down to it

My pride will be misunderstood

“Why must everything be about race?”

Because the moment he sailed the ocean blue

In 1492

Things changed for me and you

Why do you have so much pride for your people?

Because if I don’t who will?

Who will tell the young black girls

With naps and kinks

That their hair is beautiful

No matter what others think

To the boy with skin sleek as night

That his heart and mind is just as bright

I would be lying to my baby if I told her color doesn’t matter

It would be false hope in her heart

But If I tell her and teach her

To look beyond the tint of our skin

It would be the first step to a brighter day

I would be lying to my baby if I told him life was fair

That if he dreamt it

He could go anywhere

It is he who bound me to believe

That I have no history

No story to tell

There is a crisis

Not one seen to the eye

But by being inside

In our eyes it lies

How can it be that many centuries of history

Were lost to the man who crossed these seas

Stole our ancestry

And hung it from trees

Instilled fear for them to believe

They are a minority?

A people who built the first cities
Who built the great pyramids

You want me to believe from the media

You feed me

That they were of caucasian descent?

You take my own history from me

Is there a fear of showing their glory as it was

Skin of deep midnight to hues of golden sand

Or did some producer coin the idea to be too bland

“It is what the public wants,” they say

“Why don’t we try and portray it this way?”

Not today

For history cannot be changed

Even if it doesn't fit the standard

It’s a hazard

To bar children’s minds of who their people were

The greatness that they achieved

For the last time I checked

Europe had not regret

And still today we learn of their glory

A beautiful, horrendous, revolutionary story

But what’s my story?

I remember a girl

Proud was she

That she could trace her ancestry

Of the Irish descent back to the 17th century

And then of another family proud of a vague receipt

Of a slave named Wilson sold cheap

Who bought a home with land after he was freed

This story of skin

An epidemic in it’s own community

Being ravished by wishes of being Dark Skinned or Light Skinned

Only to fit in?

With whom?

Ourselves? Who else?

In the end we are all still kin

For the color of one’s skin only determined

If he stayed outside the house or within

Who am I?

I am wooly black/brown hair

With kinks and naps and knots

“BB” edges and Jam!

Cornrows, crochets, weaves, singles, box braids

Micros, sew-ins, natural, straight, blow-dried

I am gumbo, greens, cornbread, ham hocks

Grandma’s muumuu, sandals, socks

I am a community that has thrived

When it was wished to die

Who fought day and night

For equality in its rights

I am a community with a lost identity

Who forged its own

That lives within me

Black is more than just a race

It is a culture that cannot be replaced

A culture that cannot be erased

 

This poem is about: 
Me

Comments

3rdIPoetik

I love this.....Deep stuff.... Keep writing 

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