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 Elizabeth ‘cos Adwoa Konadu Boateng is a mouthful
I am that being whose history has been exterminated, rewritten and 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
No way I’m gonna be African now, not when these pieces are made to tell my whole
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
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 an Ivy League 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 the ends of the earth and the
sky, and the water, then include the non-profit maker in the firing squad of global
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 cos my hips are too big, and my tummy’s too flabby, 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/ 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
I stare hard at my black shadow in the mirror
My heavy uncontrollable mass of curls, and 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 a 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