I wrote this piece in a former poetry class and it received some controversy for its bluntness. I’m not apologizing for what is said in this poem because it speaks the truth. It’s about respect, acceptance of race and a culture and igniting change in this country. While we have made some progress in ending discrimination against others, we still have a long way to go. My hope is that the next generation finally cracks the code to achieving peace and harmony.
Africa runs her course deep through my veins.
My skin, is a smooth russet from centuries spent in the sun
And my hair, as thick as a lion’s mane.
I am African American
And you, a Caucasian
But what does it matter?
We were made from the same grain;
When you mix sand with dirt,
When you mix ash with gravel,
you will see that we were made from the same Earth.
There is no escaping the truth;
That we have equal rights,
We read and enjoy the same authors,
Can write words that fly off the page
And involve ourselves with politicians.
Cut me open and watch the blood-
from decades of oppression and freedom,
from red hatred and burning independence –
seep from this open and forgiving wound.
What you see or think you know
Is only a part of your creation.
It’ll be a while before you and I
Will finish the bridge of unity
And move pass immaturity and ignorance.
We have a lot of work to do.