Matthias Pantaleon

(August 24,1984 / Oronija Island, Nigeria)

BAB (Because Am Black)


Hatred is a tree whose fruits
Segregation and racism, like cankerworms
Have rotted our human society
Being black in some quarters is perceived as failure

In America, some say I'm a nigger
Italians may perceive a black man as a monkey
While Russians refer to us as orange-and-banana peels
Whatever that means

My mental sky is clouded with negativity
I am left with a battered ego
At Fifty, my father is still perceived as a boy in their eyes
Outsiders call my Motherland the third world

And regard my way-of-life a mere fetish
When I'm not watchful
They callously cart-away the masks of my idols
Stealing the gods of my ancestors with impunity

I'm being called barbaric
'cause I choose to be uniquely me
God knows my black mind
Neither my family nor I ever initiated slave trade

Beneath the watchful eyes of the sun
Foreigners shamed my sisters
Whatever became of my father
Will never be known to my mother

Nor could I believe the awful fate that befell my brother
whose carcass was seen hanging from a tree
In a forest covered by fog
Still, they dare to call me a savage

As a child, I wasn't spared
They stripped me of my selfhood
Chaos and gaol reigned
During my childhood

Alas
They blatantly say the black man is always at-war
But how, when, and why have these assumptions been made
And by whom? Not by my fellow countrymen

In my heart, I remain more humane
Than all white clergymen who have introduced their religions
Why am I being called a cannibal when I am pure-in-heart
merely because am black

Submitted: Saturday, August 25, 2012
Edited: Thursday, June 12, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Racism: Imagine a world without colour

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