The One

I don’t mind being the one
to tell the world: you’ve
mistreated me.

Generations after generations;
centuries after centuries,
monotonous mistakes are repeated
because children become adults
nursing home-grown ideologies.
It’s the foundation of modern relations.

Today’s continuous ignorance is no surprise—
It’s no mystery that
the collective African diaspora is still fiction;
an action thriller glamorized
because the view of mainstream media
is still filtered through a eurocentric gaze.

Don’t be fooled; empires were/are built on black backs.

I’m still stigmatized;
polarized whenever my skin voice
its forced choice—
the inheritance of being black in America.
The mortar used to bind America
is the blood and sweat and tears of slaves.

We must never forget
black lives are beset by the white knight,
especially when it seems alright.
I don’t trust the ability to have a peaceful
night in my home
or dare go out for Skittles—

so I have to be the one.

I feel its caress…
At times, I wonder if
it isn’t just the distress in the atmosphere.
Modern racism is like a faint breeze,
if you sneeze, you may just miss it.

But I don’t mind being the one
to forgive the future
that has yet to come.

I carry hope like pocket change.
Full of pennies that burn my palm
as I arrange the ways change does happen.

Change must happen.

How easy life must be, could be
if I could exchange the ignorance
of today into yesterday.

So no, I don’t mind being the one
to rewrite and recite the birthright
of my children.

We must be the one

to create something rightful
for my children.

Something good they can pass
generations to generations;
centuries to centuries,
without wanting to wish otherwise;
without wanting to erase
the color that makes them so resilient.

This much is true:
loving black
is not for the faint of hearts;
being black
is not for the feeble-minded.