I am black, I am proud. I’ve got to say it out loud!
I am more than just a colour, I’m not just a shade or a hue
My blackness is my statement
The totality of my mental, spiritual and emotive consciousness
My black is entangled in chains of cruel history and I don’t just mean slavery!
Who can understand the awesome ubiquity of black?
I am inescapably everywhere
I am your worst nightmare, yet your secret fantasy
You’ve got a problem there
Who can contend with the power of black
Save for the One who created it?
I am not a fad or a trend. I just transcend.
I am in a love-hate relationship with myself
Just as the world has it’s own love-hate puzzle going on with me
Every hue and extraction, they love to identify with some form of black
Yet many secretly despise
But the purity of black is the depth of the blackness itself, innate and intrinsic
There is much beauty in racial concatenation
I celebrate with you but just don’t claim black
For black is beyond colour; indeed it is beyond a fashionable hue or statement.
You call me controversial, I call you imperceptive
Who outwits who?
You love to hate my black but like moth to an irresistible flame
You are held spellbound;
Drawn by that which undeniably entrances, confounds and yes compels you
You want to be like me yet you brainwash me to believe I need to be like you;
Think like you even
I will shed my ‘barbarisms’ when you shed your hypocrisy
Laced with subtle superiority
Then again maybe not. Why should I?
You call me barbaric. I call me raw. I like it that way.
Don’t get me going political!
You denigrate and demean
With smiling condescension
Your calculated tokenisms of hesitant acceptance
Your smiles masked by inner dread
You try to compensate me with facile dogma
Political correctness ad nauseam
Please spare me!
Don’t you see we are keepers of each other’s differences and similarities?
Can’t you see I am more than just words of rap?
More than just some show of prowess on a track field?
More than just songs of haunting blues or soul?
I may croon but I am not just about a song or a dance
I’ve got swag but that isn’t all I am about
I am deeper than all the deep you could possibly think
The mystery of deep is…. kind of where I’m at
You will never understand, for even I don’t understand me
For who will ever understand blackness’s depths
Before the creation of Creation, I already was
For darkness covered the face of the deep
How deep is that?
Blackness is a visible synonym for the mysteries enmeshed within
I am black and I live torn; threatened between two extremes
Deep unto my own self destruction
And just as deep unto my salvation
Who will save me?
Salvation comes from above but also from within.
The conflict of my blackness is a timeless odyssey yet to unravel
I am Origin I am also Death
This life of paradox haunts yet also liberates me
I was once a head bowed down
But now same head has been lifted up high
I am complete and replete in my blackness
A thousand years from now and until Judgement Day dawns
I will still choose black.
The chains, the shame, the shackles of oppressive servility
That my history was forced to endure
Paved the way for my indomitability, my depths,
My inspiration and certainly my passion
I am indeed black and even beyond it
Yes, I embrace it – blackness with all its ‘shame’ and ‘denigration’.
Impassioned and boundless – that is me!
I was born enslaved
Now I live liberated; humbled to be made proud
My once dark spirituality now emancipated
The stripes of my subjugation and hopeless subjection, now healed
Free to express my black; not just in mere words but with more
I love and revel in the aura and the enigma. It’s a black thing
You won’t quite understand
So just call me Chiadikobi
Black, proud and just living it out loud.
– Kobi Emmanuella-King
from my ‘Poems of a Deep Kind’ compendium