This is not a poem
I have no pretty words
To talk about death, despair and discrimination
This is for those Africans who think their pain is greater…

 

The same narrative that leaves black bodies

Under the waters of the Mediterranean and the Middle Passage,

Makes black bodies a backdrop for bullets in America,

So African governments act with impunity

They know black lives mean nothing, nothing but dust…

For Africans who think their pain is greater, know this,

They will come for your oil
Come for your gold
Come for your diamonds
Come for your cocoa
Come for your sons and daughters
Come to feel better
But they will never come for you.

Your government reads these scripts,
These scripts of contemptibility
These scripts of degradation and degeneration,
And sells you down the river for more gold in the Rolex
More lead-proofing in the Lexus

And so you run across the waters to paradise
Where you find that you are not Somali, you are black
You are not Naija, you are black
You are not Shona, you are black
You are not a warrior you are black
You learn that you are nothing, because you are black
And that is all you need to win a bullet in the brain

 

So for Africans who think their pain is greater
You need to see that this is the same death and despair,
The same story that confines us in poverty and pain,
The voice screaming Willie Kimani, should also wail Philando Castile,

We cannot breathe in New York, we are out of breath in Ndjamena,

Death does not kill harder in Libya than in Louisiana
This is not a contest but a war.

All voices need to know this, because
The only one who can say black lives matter
with volume and conviction is you,
For you Africans who say your pain is greater
We already breathe pain and sorrow
We already eat the agony of blackness
This is not a contest
Our pain is the same.

The struggles of Senghor are the struggles of Stokely,

The troubles of Tubman are the troubles of Tambo,
The killing of Nkrumah is the killing of King,

So let raise your voices from Johannesburg to Georgia,

From Lagos to London, from Accra to Anchorage
We are one
We are black.

pan-africanism-2-638

 

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