How do you live?

Knowing your life is decided without your say-so

How do you live?

Seeing yourself doing only sport or music

Wanting to be a fashion designer, president or CEO

Reminded you’re an alien in your birthplace

Committing crime by just moving your hand across a book’s pages

And being plural in public could spell a death sentence

Assumed to be a drug dealer

When you can’t tell weed from green chalk dust

Raised to burn the black out of your skin, your hair

And call the scars beautiful

Feared and fetishised for sexual prowess

You may be too young to even have

Encouraged yet forbidden to

Breed, marry, date, even glimpse

Anyone at the empty end of the melanin spectrum

Unaware that your womb, your tomb

And everything in between

Is a treasure

Accessible only to them and their progeny

How do you live?

Start with a decision

To heal your ears’ virginity from media penetration

To privately proclaim

Blackness equals greatness

Decide who you are, what you do

And how your destiny will go

Be the fashion designer, the president and the CEO

Let your example allow other greatnesses

To breathe their niches to life

And make them know they can and should surpass you

They can and should be

Emperors and empresses

– Regent not consort –

Cutting edge scientists

Creators of films, books, scripts, TV shows

And the execs with the bucks to make them happen

Architects, plumbers, electricians, farmers

Governors, lawmakers

Historians and

Above all else

Making history where our ancestors left off

Before they were so rudely interrupted

Excuse us

Greatness is coming through once again

How do you live?

© One Tawny Stranger, October 2016

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