Ladies and Gentlemen!
Children of all ages!
Welcome to the African-American Freakshow!
Where you learn my African-not-“American” name, Ogechi
And you pause…
then you then you utter
“Oh, it’s a beautiful name”
But, your eyes tell lies
and your beauty is just a white/polite way of saying bizarre, weird, odd
But I forgot, this is a auction-excuse me the Freak Show
and Africans have always been the booty-scratching jungle butt of jokes
So, I’m the main attraction
You’re here to see me live up to my title correct?
to see me walk my high school’s halls as one of 35 black kids in a class of 500
to see the white majority come to me to learn the new dance craze
to see me get laughed at and side-eyed by my black friends when I stare doe-eyed at old and new slang
You are here, contributing to this freakshow
Contributing to another entities mold
We’re the oddest of breeds, freaks
We’re told, we aren’t meant to be amongst the white picket fences,
Lush green grass lawns, and the safety of suburban community
But those same people are quick to force us to prove our blackness
Suburban raised gansta trap rappers fakin like he from the hood for publicity
He feels the need to fake
So he can garner fame based upon someone else’s story
Suicide rate for black teens climb!
Move to the Middle May Cause Identity Crisis,
Black people, you’ve made us feel as though we don’t belong to be black with you
“You aint no real n*gga, you from the burbs, you ain’t kno bout dat big boy ish”
Like I don’t know the “Real” struggle
I’m the house slave, – spending my day cleaning dishes
And you cotton n*gga — breakin yo back picking
Like Poor is synonymous for oppression
But at the end of the day
Yes, you may have had it tougher, but in a different way
And you don’t know the struggles I’ve faced behind closed doors
and ain’t we both still slaves to the same oppressor?
They’ll shoot me just as quick as they would you
and together we’ll both be hashtags in black history
Black History Month barely even mentioned at my school
Just a Hand Out or a video slid our way outside of History Class
Tell me Where is my real History Class?
When do I get to learn about how my people helped build your America
Black Kid – White City
Though my bloodlines are as pure as the shea butter you import from my continent
That continent she refuses to identify with She told me in the lunchroom
“I’m just black”
My Sister, My brother
We share a Motherland
And I will be that bird that refuses to change her feathers,
Just cause the weather don’t look like me
At least you’re surrounded by people who look like you
Facing racism when it infiltrates your neighborhood
My neighborhood is where racism lays their heads
Raises “I’m not racist” racist children
Where racism calls the cops our innocent doers
and I’ve lived on the same block for 15 years
Where racism don’t care bout our income
They see blackface and get apprehensive
Mommy … I can’t go Gracie’s house anymore
Gracie’s Daddy doesn’t trust black people
Gracie’s Daddy says we’ve been taking over his neighborhood
Gracie’s Daddy wishes we would go back to the hood …
Does this sound familiar Ladies and Gentlemen? Children of All Ages?
Welcome to this African-American Freakshow
Where Ancient Anglo-Saxon ideologies reign as King
And American-Africans don’t know their histories
Did I live up to my title?
Did you hear me?
So that maybe, just maybe
We’ll stop being gawked at as freaks
When you stop attending the show.
Save The Date for VOX-a-palooza — April 29!
VOX’s second annual end-of-year celebration will take place on Saturday, April 29, at The Rush Center. This event is planned by VOX teens for you — their peers throughout Atlanta.
VOX looks forward to bringing teens in our city an opportunity to SPEAK OUT about the issues that matter deeply to you.
We will also PUBLISH teens’ original content created at the event, here on VOXAtl.com.
This event will include the release of VOX Investigates new print edition on mental health and will culminate in the Art Not Ego final poetry slam to determine the team that will represent Atlanta at Brave New Voices this summer!