Struggle Of A Black Child by Chuma Okonkwo

As a black child
At the beginning were birth pangs
That welcomed my checkered existence
My childhood was full of struggles
That became my birthmarks.
Like every other tyke of my kind
That attended schools where blacks were minority
Chronicles of Western myths became stories I ever knew
Legends of untold black heroes were left in the rear seat of history
Where pages of surviving tales were rouletted and turned into dots
And slots left in my mind turned tabula rasa.

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As a black child
Struggles became songs I sang
At school I knew no friends
I stood a distance far from their feet
History books of black legends were my companions
Every page I read became a scar
Tears I shaded were words I ever spoke
Pains became air I inhaled
Anger became gas I belched
My words became brusque
No one understood when I spoke.

As a black child
I refused to be docile
I challenged every smirk of my tormentors
I never buckled under the tensions to change who I was
I was a unique mold from the kind of clay that made my kind;
Never easily washed out
My strength was in my black power.
I wasn’t alone in that wilderness of unknown history
What I faced other black teens faced
In unison our voices roared
We got the audience we needed!

As a black child
My passion burned into my hearts
It glowed like a phoenix that never dies
The embers never burnt out of the inglenook.
The stars became our stepping ladder
We sold the hard-to-sell thoughts no one was willing to buy
Tales of unsung legends on the lips of many
The struggles we conquered became the shining armour
That silhouetted against our destinies
Who I am, I cannot change;
A black child, transuding the dark aged slim path of life;
A Struggle that glues past, present and future.

Chuma Okonkwo  2013

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