By Taribo Osuobeni
From the day that I was born my color put me at a disadvantage. Like my hands were tied around my back, pulling and tugging and bugging about why from birth I started at the bottom of the status quo; The socioeconomic ladder. Why? I questioned like an atheist stressing and questioning the nature of a God, now before I implode and explode I question why? Why were my people born without respect because God decided to glaze us over with the permanent tan that is our color; our identity; our validity; our color of serenity? Why do others automatically gain that respect because they are not, of… THAT color? Take the paint brush and dip it in history; his story, her story, our story. Take that brush and color me with the blood, sweat and tears, fears and trembling hands, hands that picked and plowed this so called land, this nation where nationally we seem as one but that one is divided into one, that one group scaled out at a ton and took their blood stained boots and mounted on the throats and backs of the blacks who already stacked the baggage of lies and put downs of society from the start.
From the start it seemed like we were made in the white man’s hands, molded and scolded we stood, pressed down, chewed up, spat out and told that grime and slime is seemingly more appealing than your kind. But under pressure forms diamonds, and under pressure do we form, the pressure of labels and norms of haves and have-nots, of blacks and the occasional cop, of stacks of a cotton box all for the cost of the psychological murder of my people. My people who practically. No. My people who actually built this country, factually they made this country, our lives wade in this country, deep in the ground where they lay in this country, our brothers and sisters, mothers and misters rot and all for what? So that when a black man walks by you clinch your purse? So that the only time you listen to us is when we incorporate a rhyme or a verse? So that my brothers are still packing and stacking and hacking up blood, while bloods are set crippin, slipping and tripping, cocking back pulling the clip in, gun shots ringing and singing those sad songs all the wrongs and what belongs to us but what’s not given, our demoralized woman and children! Our demoralized woman and children. I’ve already gotten to the point but let me restate myself; we live in a land where what’s wrong seems right, a black kid picks up a book all of a sudden he’s white. He’s Caucasian if he’s smart and a little polite, if he doesn’t load up and dump or blow trees am I right? We came from slavery to shooting three’s and catching touchdown passes, but do you remember when they tied us up and hung us in masses? No. Picture the men, women and children; Dangling, feet clapping, necks twisted, lives strung up on a tree. These were my people; your people; our people; People….