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Now I don't know about all of us, but
I just want credit for the things we brought over.
Still waiting on our 40 acres, our mules,
we carry lashes for every misconception given to the young, that were passed over. You
rewrote our textbooks so that you could hide your shame.
And when it came to our works of art, you
left us uncited, dreaming of riches that never came. You
cropped out our ideas, deleted us from the paper.
Rewrote my people as savages, inserted yourselves our savior.
We created the wave along ago, & you
made your ships adaptable to ride along for the road.
For every line we made, you found a way to paraphrase.
But left us untitled, didn't think we were a story to be made.
I say 54 countries, you say 1 massive land.
I say afro, you say zig zag puff.
I say dashiki, you say exotically patterned mini t-shirt dress, but I guess
The more rewritten, the less ethical issues to address.
No need to cite what you claim your own work, no need to undergo that stress.
I say Black Lives, you say All.
Never learned Swahili, Igbo, or Zulu, for you’ll only call it rubbish.
Cuz I’ll always speak slave, & you only know slave master.
You stole from us & I’m something considered to be watched
learned to stop disrespecting names when I found out Michelangelo, Vincent, & Pablo were something to respect, &
Robb, Tyke, and Justin were just another to be watched
I say “N****” & you say…
It seems to be the only word you’ve allowed us to both own.
Can't call it creative work, it’s
more a crappy game of telephone.
I tell you you can't use it, now E.T.’s gotta phone home.
Need some more of you for back-up, to tell me why I’m selfish & all wrong. You
ask me “Well what's the big deal? You’re people have used it for so long.”
Well my people took a word that was meant to break us,
something used to call us dirt, in the times where they enslaved us,
& now use it as a form of empowerment.
We took that word once used as their verbal whip, & now we find power in it.
So it’s not that I don't trust white people. I just need something to call my own.
Something that ain't been whitewashed by the media, it’s
had the same name since before it was known.
I stopped hiding my hands in my pockets, and my
Head in my hood.
I stopped givin’ you reasons to believe that I was up to no good.
Because of the different portrayals of a black kid, I
thank my mama for a name that was black enough for my house, but
white enough for the world. We’ve
given up so much so that you can feel comfortable in this world.
So call me selfish if all I wanna keep is my word.
So next time I tell you no,
& you have the nerve to ask me why.
I'll give you my answer on how there are somethings I just can't let slide.