A letter to White people

I sit in the cinema surrounded by the sounds of tears,
Belonging to White people
Oh so now they’ve watched a film about slavery, their eyes fogged
See themselves as separate to those on our shared screen
Burning into our eyes, the sound of breaking, bleeding, skin
A new moral high ground they sit on alright
What they don’t realise is, the same chains fucking exist

We’re still enslaved, begging and gagging for their approval
We quieten our voices into whispers
So they don’t whip us into their printed categories
Scars, though are no longer on our backs
Are imprinted as labels on our foreheads and hearts
Our minds, chained for the desire for a pink diamond
That doesn’t seem to dance between our thighs

Our backs are still sore from picking up the pieces
Of jigsaw puzzles that lay soaked in dirty water, left by the passing flood
We try to map out lost items of great importance
But we can’t
Our broken hearts and our broken minds
Waiting for normalcy to come after the storm
Normalcy that never comes
But seems to be permanent, and in abundance for White people

Please don’t make this about you
Our stories need a home, our bodies need a platform
Our minds need a voice
We’re not just another Hollywood production
Our lives cannot be reproduced and sold like that
We need to matter


3 thoughts on “A letter to White people

  1. Slavery has always existed from the most ancient of times and it’s not just about the way black people were terribly and often murderously mistreated by whites. People of all colours have enslaved people of all ( and the same ) colours and sadly they are still doing it as recent news items show.
    Thankfully western civilisation? no longer countenances such atrocities though some of us would argue that we are now all wage slaves for at least 60 years to the same greedy capitalist types that presumably wouldn’t have blinked twice at being able to harness a source of cheap labour, after all they still do so after a fashion in the third world though admittedly the chains are financial instead of iron.

  2. I just found your blog an hour ago, and I sincerely love your poems and everything you stand for. That being said, from one young Black man in the USA to one Brown woman from the UK, please don’t use slavery and the Maafa to analogized our struggle with those of other PoC. I am not offended, nor do I think that our condition is any more or less important and/or dire than others. It hurts all of us, men, women, and PoC, when we fail to wrestle with the specifics of our places (or lack thereof) in society with each intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality.

    The span of Eurasia, from China to Portugal, had come to an unspoken agreement in Pre-Modern history that Africa is the place from which Humanity can procure Slaves. To be a Slave is to be Black, and to be Black is to be a Slave. The difference between the inequity you and I face is a difference of Kind, not Scale. In Afro-Pessimistic Theory, you are a member of Capital-H Humanity but I am not. So, as a Son of Slaves I humbly ask that you respect that difference.

    • Hi Danzel, thanks for your comment. I reflected on your words and my actions – which is why it took me so long to reply to your comment. I thought my response was better in the form of a blog rather than an (inadequate) reply here. Well actually its not really a reply, its more of a reflection of partaking in anti-racism without being anti-Black. You might/might not be interested in reading it.

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