I entered the writing session as a ball of fire. Having experienced another situation where an old racist man had silenced my voice and had completely erased my presense before his eyes. I wanted to scream but didnt have the energy. I wanted to write about it but i immediately got exhausted over having to explain myself, over having to reinforce my existence as a black body, over having to go through all that wrenching again.
Poetry had other plans when it came to the writing challenge. Changing point of view as a writer. Exploring a topic we would never consider documenting because sometimes we become too comfortable with the kind of stories we tell. Muimeleli Mutangwa, Nobuhle Khanyile and myself got the topic of white supremacy. We had to write a short poem in defense of it. We had to step into thier shoes and justify their heritage.Being the mad black woman that I was that afternoon, I suffered through the writing shaking hands and all, I was brave enough to do the challenge. Its a beautiful lesson I learned though, perhaps one I cannot acurately verbalise right now, but I know that the way I think has changed, my skin is thicker than it was and I am discovering an entirely different way of story telling. This poem is a bushfire. I hope it burns as much as it did me. If your skin has gone through worse, dont put the fire out.
Don’t tell me it’s my fault When I arrived here there was no God. I was born into the privilege. Don’t tell me your melanin is my fault. I am the last ripple from the wave my fathers sailed on to. Your melanin happens to cripple you, but you were born that way. Do not question my ability and expect your disability to be the answer. Don’t tell me it’s my fault that I cemented Kingdoms on your land and you refused to enter the doors. I brought the paper and the pen, now look at how intellectual you are. You call it a poetry session. I call it a reincarnation of my people’s heritage.
–Muimeleli Mutangwa, Nobuhle Khanyile,Zizipho Bam