The African Youth

Tell me if I am wrong,

If I must be mistaken, or my recall is incorrect

All I remember is how we pretended to be people we weren’t,

How we hid behind names that weren’t ours

Smiled as though we were certain our ancestors were slaves,

The struggles we went through pretending we understood the Caribbean culture

We knew nothing, we know nothing

of the Jamaican

It was so hard being African way back then

When all we did was bang out vybz kartel and turn up to raves that only played basement music

How we had to pronouns our name differently

Easy for the others to understand,

Jayé-ola was too hard, Babatunde was too African, Jokotola rhymed with Coca-Cola

Being black was cool

But not African…

…That was aff

Because there was something wrong with representing your African heritage that weren’t Egyptian or of a shade close enough to the white man,

And if your melanin was poppin then you were just right enough to be classified with the superior Caribbean,

Because only their black held our history’s heritage

The African colour was shades of wrong;

Shades of coal that we were supposed to be wash away in the morning

It wasn’t accepted

It wasn’t approved of.

Now the roles may just have switched up,

I see how we all wear dashikis and eat jollof rice.

How everyone is trying to add their unnecessary 2 pence into the Ghanian vs Nigerian jokes,

Or Africans might be taking the lead in black culture today,

How everyone seems to be incorporating afrobeats into every song,

How the tunes we listen to whilst cleaning sound like the drums of victory over our masters,

How we no longer dance to freedom songs

but beats that echo the celebration of the African culture


How times have changed us.

How we are yet to still discover who we are within a society that still fails us,

For life started in Africa

And there will it end.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Adrianna says:


    Liked by 1 person

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