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I am black


I am black
With all the flaks
That your soul can muster
I am what you believe
Guilty as you are bereaved
Truly not giving a quarter,
If that will give you relief
I am not the reprieve for prejudice
I am not lace for shoes, I did not choose
I have just been placed as the stage
Platform for the enraged
I am too big for you to handle
Apple that will not be supple
Pressed to earth
Pressed to become a pebble in your heart
You are not suffering from kidney stones
You are just reeling hard
Unacknowledging your guilty soul
I am black, used to be equal but separate
Free but without the mandate
Feed for fish, when the chains daze
I am black, resplendence is me
He sees you worthy
Leaps when you are walking
He’s still left behind,
It’s as if you are jogging
He calls you ugly but gets his own color wrong
He admits you are strong
And you would have agreed, but then he reaches for his gun
You are but the sun,
If refused to rise from the east
They won’t want to be there
When you do so from the west
I am black
With all the stones aimed at a monster
You have tried to kill me
But here I am, emerging stronger
I am as black as the door that covers your soul
I am black with all the hues that made you cry
I am from the home that I refuse to find
I am as black as the man who first did the kneeling
I am kin to the man, who pleaded to be allowed to continue breathing
I am black
Same flesh, different color
Equal rights, different horrors
I was black before the sailors came and built a door of no return
I was a king in those days
Fire, lapping up a fiery space
I am black, coal lighting up your homes,
Posed as a dent, blended in with a dead conscience
The Klan may have joined the force
I will not be your scattered ash
When the wood succumbs
Having rights should be not a race
And you know I never finish second
Let me be your reason
When hatred becomes a mantle to dismantle
When peace turns to pieces, let’s see how you caress the shards
When injustice is paid its wages, let’s see how your ears erase our chants
I am black, I have no other colors for rage
I am your ignored brother, who’s always been of age
I am milk for a soul at home with kindness
I have been a king in my home, and I have called you to witness
I have bronze for art, gold for stash
I have sculptures
Engraved in my culture
I have melodies and rhythms, so sweet it picks holes in hardened souls
I am black
Stark in my nakedness, when stares approaches gaze
Floating in your thoughts
When you need to know how much a conscience weighs
I am beauty in harmony with nature
Eyeballs that scintillates
I was Michael before I became Usain
I was Maya before Rihanna became
I am the softness in Jazz
With an extra touch of class
I am the pen pushing history to rewrite
I am Africa,
A future you cannot wait to invite…

Akeem Adetayo Oyalowo

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