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Perception

Updated: Apr 23, 2020


He came out of the water canal bliss with the world

Soul so pure and luminescent

As for great success he is bound

His quiescent mind wants nothing but good things for mankind

A head full of dreams and a heart full of inexorable hope

A beloved brother to the universe and proud son of the motherland

Complexion as dark as the night sky

Crown as coiled and soft as a cumulus cloud

His eyes show the history of his ancestors

Nose wide and snub

His dark and plum lips can tell endless stories

A unique beauty gifted by the gods

Talent? Plentiful

But the world did not see him as such

They see him as part of the epidemic that is perishing our world

They see him as the negro.


(PS: Artwork by Titus Kaphar, if you are interested in learning more about his work check out this article :) https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wd4mb9/titus-kaphar-on-his-new-solo-show-and-unarmed-black-men-in-america-111 )




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Abdjine Lemaitre
Abdjine Lemaitre
Mar 23, 2020

Originally, I wrote the last line using the N-word but when I read it at poetry night I felt the need to censor it because I thought it would make some people feel uncomfortable. That was a mistake

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nicolexgrennan
nicolexgrennan
Mar 19, 2020

Oooooooh interesting. Can I ask what made you decide to change the last line?

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jennifleur
jennifleur
Mar 19, 2020

Such a nicely worded poem. You make me feel hopeful, inspired, and happy for this man. The imagery allowed me to create him in my mind, I was rooting for him, anticipating the next line to be better than the last. Awaiting his successes, I considered his purity, his innocence and want for good.

Until the end, when reality hit, the systematic baba bullshit world we live in that - even when unintentional - will prevent him from flourishing like others just because of his physical features. it's systematic and old, we know it, but it still hurts.

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