27.1.12

In no particular order, the mirror in three-part discord



a. so you think you’re better than me, because of longitude and latitude, and the way your tongue does those bending, clicking tricks?
and surely you think, i must think, i’m better than you because of a colder longitude and latitude, and the way my tongue bounces of ‘t’s’ and drags out syllables?
you’re superior because you can stomach the taste of garden eggs, rock hard fish and don’t require bottled water because you can stomach the taste of the earth?
you laugh because mosquito repellent and sun-block are for the thin skinned ‘darkies’ who have lost the sun and therefore all strength in their outer layer. isn’t that how you see me? weak?
you think i have no right to this land? that i’m a foreigner. an alien even? that you can question my intentions when i say ‘home’ or ‘we’ or claim ‘Biafran’, ‘cause in your opinion we’re far from the same:

you’re african and i’m negro and we all know which one came first.

b. nah. not today. how many African girls you know with a scattering of concentrated melanin gems all over their face? they’re fucking awesome actually. and mostly i do understand you, especially when you’re talking about how little you perceive i understand. i hear. i know. and my british tongue will retaliate in a philly meets brooklyn dialect. my blood is deep red with allegiance. but it’s not for you to know or measure. an allegiance to nigeria. to Africa. to the diaspora. to a pan African identity. this negro african brit likes being a brit african negro. it’s everything i know and am. and finally, finally it has become okay.

c. i’m sorry i can’t understand what it is that you’re saying. even when it’s english sometimes, but you’re speaking so fast and throwing in pidgin and i just get lost because my ears don’t hear those sounds well. i’m sorry i only have three nigerian outfits (and only one is wedding appropriate) and i’m sorry i hate all the ones you try to give me and cut them up to wear with jeans instead. i’m sorry for my yellow pepper skin that isn’t dark enough to blend in with the masses, and i’m sorry for my tongue that shames me every time. and the way i walk. and the way i carry my arms or move my neck. and my freckles. lord only knows, i’m so sorry for my being.

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by Ruby Amanze