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‘African-American Freakshow’ A Poem

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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,

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”

 

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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

Hypothetically Mixed

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

Ya know

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

 

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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.

 

VOX-A-Palooza Flyer

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!

Click here to register for this free event.

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