Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nwannem

And I wonder do they realize
The millions of people who were captured from my village
And I wonder do they realize
Geography didn’t end oppression
And I wonder do they realize that 500 years of oppression here
Included 500 years of oppression there
And I wonder if they realize
That we still existed
That my
great (1900)
great (1800)
great (1700)
great (1600)
grandmother
And your great great great great grandmother
Could have been fetching water together
When the White man snatched Ifeoma
Or maybe it was another Black man from another tribe named Adebola
Drunken with liquor , powerful with the touch of a gun 
Who Forced himself inside of her
Chained her up
And dragged her across the ocean
But there is a possibility that she didn’t survive
Maybe from sickness
Maybe she was brave enough to jump into the water
Maybe she had heard stories of those who left and never came back
Maybe her mother left and never came back
Or Maybe no one ever talked about it
Maybe everyone just moved in silence cradling their personal
Chi
Because we don’t talk. Maybe our ancestors didn’t talk either
I don’t know
Its hard for me to know
Because like you I am colonized
Or maybe she was among the Igbo Landing 
May 1803 
Savannah, Georgia 
"The Water Spirit brought us, the Water Spirit will take us home"
They chanted as they walked into the ocean and chose death
Over the life of an enslaved African
Suicide
Rebellion
Was that bravery or cowardice?
They say my people are stubborn
Igbo, Eboe, Ibo
They say my people fight . So when I see you
I see me . Because I see hundreds of years of resistance
Like them, you have .
But I don't know.
I am one generation removed from colonization
What I know is what my parents know or maybe what they don’t know
Because as soon as they stopped taking us to where you are
Where we are now 
They begin slaughtering us there
Burning villages
Hanging elders
Raping women
Capturing young girls
Taxing the poor
Exasperating internal conflicts
Steal everything. 
Take everything. 
Destroy everything. 
But our spirits . 

Or so I think . 

No. What I really think is that we are all suffering from post-colonial traumatic stress disorder
I imagine that’s what happened
I try to read books . I try to visualize.
I am obsessed with the past because I feel so much of me was taken
Here I am in this country
With my native name but still I feel empty
Is this a symptom of oppression
Am I imagining this? Am I making something more than it is?
Or do I truly have a longing to figure it out
Is there something to figure out ?

I say this because I too used to romanticize “ home”
But I am at a loss of what home is 
Who is home
And what does it mean to be home
What does it mean to have a home 
And I wonder if this is a symptom of colonization
Where borders were created
Identities manufactured
Nationality employed

Who am I
And 'What am I to you? nwannem?

Theafrolegalise 

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