I forgive you.
I forgive you for staying
I forgive you for allowing them to strip us of our names
I forgive you for taking on the foreign gods of wicked men
I forgive you for quoting scriptures in your oppressors tongue
Scriptures designed solely to condition you into submission; “be a good slave”
Oh no! It’s steward they say
I forgive you for sitting at the coward’s feet and being petted like a dog
I forgive you for putting up Massa’s broken China in cabinets and fearing to eat from them
Treasuring something of such little value
I choose to remember the ancestors who fought back
I choose to trace my lineage through the maroons, the rebels and the revolutionists.
I choose to abandon the white man’s name, his languages and their religion
I choose to abandon their vapid standards of beauty
I choose to adorn my crown with jewels from my backyard
My body and feet with vibrant handwoven cloths
Woven with love, and passion and excellent craftsmanship by the powerful women in my village
I choose to churn my own Shea and cocoa butter
Anoint my head with castor oil for olives are not native to my motherland.
I choose to cleanse my skin with coconut oils that mama made from the coconuts papa picked
I choose to wear handwoven sandals made from the branches of the coconut tree
I choose to sleep on beds my uncle made from bamboo
I choose to eat from the calabash
How dare you try to rob me of my wealth
You pale, dry skinned flimsy haired man??
You tried to take my diamonds, copper, gold and emeralds and offer me plastic?! cheap cloths that bleed and tear with just a few wears.
You stole the art of my people and told us “look at Mona Lisa! Such brilliance!
Straight Offence – that shit is basic.
In your denial of our excellence and wisdom you constructed aliens because how dare we build pyramids you still have not figured out
You dug up our ancestors and parade them in “museums”
You will rue the day my people march in your feeble architectures and take back what is ours
We will not hold placards and ask for permission to breathe
For the days of petitioning Bakra are past
And while I forgive my ancestors,
I will not forgive yours.