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Who am I?

I am African in a way that doesn’t demand attention
That doesn’t call you to order 
I was born here and I’m proud to be part of the place I call here- home
It’s my journey from bottled up rage to self- discovery 

As an African, I constantly question who I am and what my responsibilities entail
Do I define them or let my blackness be the coat of disprivilege I’m forced to wear 
Who am I outside of their perception of me?

I don’t like to be the victim in the story,
But the oppressor is not a position I would favor either 
My story is forever tainted by their insecurity and consequent domination

However, no matter how history unfolded,

I’m proud because we fought back 
But still, I don’t want to be the victim in the story.

If blackness is defined by you who are white,
I find it difficult to subscribe to a label that is defined by your oppression
That identity is premised on the privilege you intended to establish and for that reason, I rebel against it subliminally.

You get to call me impoverished, dis privileged, dirty.
And that gets to be the yoke I carry around and call my identity?
Nah.

If I could define my identity in an alternate universe where my people rallied together to fight our fight against the corruption and the west did not characterize all that is ‘good’ and ‘favorable’ in the world,
I wouldn’t be black.
I wouldn’t be colored either 
If you defined it, I don’t want it.
The rules of consent should definitely apply.

If my legacy forever relies on the goodwill of the people who felt burdened enough to
Come ‘down’ to Africa,

I’m afraid that history becomes a little untrustworthy because it is told only from your side of the story.

Indeed of our many conflicts, we agree that my continent is beautiful. Even if all you’ve ever seen are giraffes and palm trees.

But I don’t need your validation
Or representation in your magazines 
To be aware of this particular truth
I will assume it is why you abused me
Because I was too beautiful
Too tantalizing, succulent, and desirable.
My thighs and vegetation excited you
I distracted you and thus it must be my fault that you violated me.

I long for the days when I am free of you.

2 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. Wow, this is amazing Omobolaji. Every type of emotion you probably felt while writing this, I can say, I felt too. Well-done!

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