Piece by Alexander Taiwo Babatunde.
To all our forefather who fought so intently for our liberty,
I apologise because our shackles are way deeper than you thought.
With every passing day it seems like you fought and died for nothing,
For freedom is a lie we tell ourselves just so we can keep on living,
And it’s seems we will always be prisoners to the system, and our minds are still in captivity.
It seems like we will never be treated or seen as human beings,
All for one really silly reason, the colour of our skin.
And this treatment and history as led us to have an unconscious sense of inferiority.
With the things I see and hear just adding to my insecurities.
I don’t know why the colour of my skin equals violence and killing,
Acting like crime is unique to ‘my type’ and not every other ‘type’ of human being!
Something about it seems to be scary, it makes people wary,
All these stereotypes and treatment just because I happen to have more melanin!
I have a heart, soul and still bleed red like everyone else,
I have emotions as well, I laugh, I cry, get happy or sad and have my fears!
It’s no excuse but I wonder if it’s been considered that the way we’re treated is the reason some of us rebel,
Going about things the wrong way just to make ends meet.
Just because the system can’t be bothered about us and our families,
Claiming to have these big talks about peace and unity but never fail to find new reasons for the opposite.
Deceiving us by calling it something as pretty as ‘diversity’,
Yet people often associate our skin colour with barbarism and stupidity!
Acting like it’s infectious or rather poisonous to touch, it’s sickening!
These same people can’t seem to understand Africa is a continent not a country!
Although, they recognise how beneficial we are to their society,
It’s amazing how we can be an integral part of a society but not actually a part of it.
Most don’t realise our greatness comes from our uniqueness and tenacity,
And it’s for that reason they can’t seem to really appreciate it.
In the end, ‘black’ people lie to themselves that they are fighting for change,
When all we are really doing is adapting to the situation we face.
Because like every other human being we fear what we don’t know, although, we think we want it, we fear change.
I wonder if a side effect of our tenacity, is that we have finally found comfort in this system,
And the system just keeps pushing us to our limits, trying to get rid of us, looking for a reason.
It really aches to say this but it seems ‘black’ will always be the colour of captivity.
It’s sad that as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t end this positively.
Contributor: Taiwo is a Final Year MEng Student at the University of Leeds. He also runs a blog: ‘What The Voices Said’ VISIT HIS BLOG!