We’re Cool Like That This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 29, 2009
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I'm cool like that, I'm proud like that, and I'm African like that.

Not a bloated stomach, not a face encircled by flies, not a beggar's hand
I am part of a billion people with a million dances and thousands of tongues
to tell not only stories of tears, to play not only in the mourning band
I have a direct link to the origin of all humanity and shout this fact with my lungs
filled with the sands of the Sahara and the Kalahari.

I'm cool like that, I'm proud like that, and I'm African like that.

You place me in your books and newspapers as one mass face
of AIDS and malaria and TB, always the loser of the human race
I am one piece of a mosaic of 53 countries full of resources and grace
I dream when you come to arm the hungry and take our wealth out of its place
that the Mediterranean and Red Seas, the Indian and Atlantic Oceans would give chase
to drown your greed and let the waters be its burial place.

I'm cool like that, I'm proud like that, and I'm African like that.

You dare to rescue Africa with aging rock stars and uninspired actors
with agendas that do not include using us as our own benefactors
Listen to our voices filled with wisdom and experience and not be only our detractors
Listen to Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai, Wole Soyinka, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Listen to Africa.

Because we're cool like that, we're proud like that, and we're part of humanity like that.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

Rogersright said...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm
great work !
Harebelle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm
No wonder this made it into the magazine...it's got a great message and you wrote it really well. My favourite lines are the first two of the first stanza. Great job!
HeraclitusDRM said...
May 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm
Beautifully executed. "With agendas that do not include us as our own benefactors." Incredibly true; the best way that blacks can achieve a higher status in society is to become economically independent. Booker T. Washington would be proud. Keep it up. 
Onelove55 said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm
Well said. One poem represents the very moral viber of the universal language of floetry
JenniferB. said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm
Im so glad you put this online im gonna put mines on because i wrote my depiction also based on the digable planets rebirth to slickrick song, i love that song, forever a classic
lilbro said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 9:36 am
I glad you write about our place and show how varied it is.
Muralqueen said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 11:20 am
I am so proud of you Sojourner. This poem is so great and insightful. You are amazing!
Universal said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 10:46 am
The lion has awaken.
peacemaker said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm
Lift the veil and show the light. You go girl.
BeautifullyHuman said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm
This is what needs to be heard by everyone, letting them know that Africa has so much to offer than what is portrayed by the media and politicians. It needs to said more often that we are a diverse people with a rich history and a bright future. Very well done!
R.Nelson777 said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 4:57 am
Great job Sojourner! We are so proud of you. Keep it up and God bless. - Aunty Rachel & Womi - Liberia, West Africa.
Mrs. First Grade said...
Jan. 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm
Great poem! This poem reflects an African continent with much more to offer than sickness and death! This poem is just "Cool like That"
Light said...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm
I am from Zimbabwe, but now live in the US. This poem makes me so proud.
MallieLee said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm
I loved the poem. Full of passion, imagery and rhythm....and truth.
peacemaker said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm
How beautiful! I am so tire of Africa being portrayed as this hopeless mass of beggars. You have captured the true wealth of Africa which is its people, culture and its gorgeous landscape.
Dandelion said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Excellent! We're all part of the same Earth; why does the specific region that you come from affect how people treat you?
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