Detroit 2016: ‘When They, When You’ by Athenkosi

What do you do when they close your eyes when you want to see? 

When they close the door because you black. When they can see you but turn their back. When they have bad names for our color. When they have shames to put us on the dollar.

Black mail, blacklisted, Black Sam, a dark cloud

They say that so loud.

When you can’t get opportunity because you who you are, they see you from very far. If you black, you are untrusted, complicated, disrespected or rejected, regarded

Regarded as disrespectful

Unbeautiful, ungrateful, just a fall.

So what do you do if they close your eyes when you want to see. When they see your color and they know you. When they see your color and they hate you. When they chase you away because you are white. When you didn’t do wrong, doesn’t that make you right.

You white, you can’t come to the hood, you don’t belong. But I thought everyone on the world we belong. You white you can’t help me. You white you can’t understand me. When you can’t even that Jesus look like you because baboon, gorilla is what you know to look like you. What do you do when they close your eyes when you want to see.

Disallow you to be what you want to be.

When you can’t be good enough.

by Athenkosi (2016)


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