You stole my history.
Africa is an entire continent, not a country. And yet, you call me African-American? I don’t see people around here calling themselves “European-American” because they were taken from their unspecified kingdoms (because who really cared? they’re all the same!) to be cast away as one-third of the human beings their great royalties are kin to. And now, even their last name is that of the “once upon a time” slave owner of their ancestors.
You stole my native language,
So the lack of care I show for your “rules and constructs” come from trying to make it my own. Trying to find truth in the lies that these words revolve around. Land of the White and Free never was able to sound good on me. So how dare you tell me my English isn’t proper when it’s not even MY English to begin with? Try as you will to wipe away my run-on sentences while I wipe away my tears for all the run-away slaves that were captured and run-over.
You stole my right to be unapologetically in love with my features.
My dark brown eyes see beyond the Eurocentric beauty standards that you have thrusted upon us. And with the wideness of my nose that matches the sway of my hips and behind, I will one day be able to bare the children whose skin will so elegantly match that of Mother Earth–and not necessarily a paper bag. Whose hair knows not the boundary of gravity, but that of the story their beautiful ascendants passed down to them.
I’m PROUD to be BLACK.
And I like calling myself BLACK even though it was how you used to mark us as less than. Because little did you realize it, BLACK absorbs light. But you thought that since you couldn’t see it, it was absent of it. And of course, you couldn’t just leave that thought within the confines of your own mind. You had to spread your self-proclaimed supremacy, and now even the keepers of this beautiful Ebony hue believe this to be true as well.
But that light is there.
It’s the sort of light you can’t find anywhere else…
The kind of light that was able to survive hundreds of years of slavery, lynchings, whippings, rapes, brutality—and somehow, the list still goes on. But the beauty in this kind of light is that we’re still standing. This light was absorbed into the essence of us.
And it’s seen with every note we create,
And in the bodies we heal,
And in the hearts we touch.
This light is magic.
It’s seen in our past,
And our future.
Never absent of, only absorbed and illuminated through BLACKNESS.
Featured Image: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/mar/30/black-power-salute-1968-olympics