The Broken Mirror: to teach people to hate themselves…

Who are you?
I am Angel.
No, really, who are you?
I am George
Stop playing around!
I am Hanson, Ferguson, Manson, Johnson, Ellison
I am… Zombie

Lost in the ways of my people, my identity, my heritage
I am the soulless black-white being
that haunts the screens of materialism
in the face of my destruction
I am that shadow in the mirror for Self
no longer exists to merit reflection
I am who I am that does not know who I am
but cares not who I am for they say
who I am is Shameful

Damn I’d rather say Angel
because Adwoa Konadu Boateng is a mouthful
I am that being whose history has been exterminated
rewritten coordinated to suit
the inadequacies of my present self

CNN and BBC lay out the fragments of my present just right
a primitive tale of wars and poverty
No way I’m gonna be African now
not when these pieces are made to tell my whole story

I am a Christian, A muslim, A Buddhist
so long as it frees me from the jungle rituals
of a Tarzanic people
I am the beautiful black girl that burns out
her curls for blonde bangs
I am no longer the black washed away
with this hot white bleach
I am the slave to the trinkets of my age
I am an individual that stands alone
not the US of my ancestral past
I am the successful experiment of a mind removed
and replaced with a self-defeating fake

I am…
Zombie with no soul but a self-destructive spirit
I am you and you are me
But how can me be you and you be me
when you seeks only to overpower me and me
seeks only to devour you?
How can Us live when exploitation
is the sole element of our new programmed system?

A system which allows us to enjoy
a Westernized education
designed to drift us farther
away from who we are
A system which designs me to fail
from the onset because I conceive myself
as the redemption of these poor people
who happen to share the same skin colour as mine
A system which ensures my indoctrination
“school”, from the malleable years
of childhood to solidify into an adulthood
of programmed robots
A system which assures me that it is okay
to be enslaved in my mind for that is the
only defeat to my inherent inferiority

I am the product of a system that preaches to me in church
to love my neighbor as myself
but not when that neighbor goes to the mosque
I am the product of a system that reincarnates
the greedy kings of the past who sold
their own to the oppression of slave chains
only now it’s not slavery but colonialism,
not colonialism but capitalism

Chale, forget the label, as long as someone
is getting exploited and people are getting
paid, we are right on track
I am the product of a consumeristic system
that teaches me to prize the surface, glorify
the shallow, and fear the vault and enjoy the hollow
I am the product of a system that pursues profit
to all ends of the earth and the sky
and the water, then include the non-profit maker
in the firing squad of global warming

I prize you for the richness of your ability
to imitate carbon copies and preconditioned
magazines of what beauty’s image should look like
rather than what you really look like as a human being
I am the product of a system that drives me
to the despairing insanity and loneliness
of self-hatred and suicide because my hips are too big
or my tummy’s too flabby or my nose just ain’t right
like a ship lost its way and found its way to my face
I am the product of a system which thrives on hate
under the guise of religious or human
duty, or simply, Shee-it
I don’t like the shape of his head

I am you, you are me, but me cannot be you nor you me
for me cannot give to you
to give to me to give to them to give to us
That is barbaric, jungle-consumed, unnatural
definitely unproductive, primitive thinking

I stare hard at my black shadow in the mirror
My heavy uncontrollable mass of curls
My ugly flat nose
My tongue which is lost
in speaking the language of my ancestors
My soul which has been wrenched
from understanding Nature’s need for unity
My mind which cannot decipher the truth who I was
for my past is hidden, who I am for
my present is told in fragments, much less where I am going
And I see, not Angel, not George, not Adwoa, nor Kweku
But a person who hates herself so deeply
Self is eternally lost in the cracked shards of
a broken mirror

***

 
Link to the Italian translation

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