I can’t recall the day when,
Africa first came to me,
Maybe its always been,
Apart of my memory.
It’s a blur to me,
The source of my knowing,
When did it occur to me,
That someday I’d be going,
I can’t even recall the day,
That I first heard the name,
Born as I was in the U.S.A.
Different, but same
Separate, but equal
Learning all I knew about Africa
From a Tarzan sequel,
When my parents would speak of it,
it was primitive, not beaming,
Why did I choose to seek it?
Was I dreaming?
Was I in a sleep-wake state?
What was the trigger?
How did I first come to associate
The Niger river
With the word nigger
When did it first enter my vocabulary,
And I get so clever
To understand that one is not you
but the other a tributary of the Benue
Has been you forever,
Was it the day my then eight year old brother threatened to kick me all the way to Timbuctoo?
And I really wished he could do it,
Like my five year old mind,
recalled matriculating through it
And the place sounded so familiar,
It was real, I just knew it.
So obsessed with the knowledge,
That I didn’t get in High school
I studied African studies in college.
I can recall the day I first came to Africa
Filled with wonder and awe,
A child of the diaspora,
I felt my ancestors presence in Accra,
The style of the architechure,
The lay of the land,
The style of dress, the cloth and the texture,
More than imagined but far from Tarzan,
I heard their language,
I wished the ancestors would speak to me again,
One source of my anquish,
Is that I couldn’t comprehend,
I wished everyone would just speak in rhyme so I could understand,
The Ewe, The Ga, The Twi,
Like a lightning flash at midnight
It dawned on me,
That I was apart of something bigger,
Less than a Native,
But more than a Nigger,
In unity, we are really quite equal
I could learn the tongue,
And finally feel at one with my people,
In Africa, I won’t be shunned,
By those who know me,
Of differences there are really not many,
I came here Obroni, (foreigner)
But will remain here Obibini.
victori ©April 2, 2019