Over at Ozy.com, one of the newest APBF poets, Hope Wabuke, writes with honesty and insight about how the expectations of race can be restrictive and insulting, and what our real concerns should be in 2015.
“In elementary school it was the Black kids from Pasadena, the neighboring town, who called us Oreo — Black on the outside, white on the inside — because we talked in a mixture of our parents’ British and African accents. Because we learned to play tennis, not basketball. Because we played in the orchestra. Because we earned straight A’s. Because we lived in Arcadia, not Compton. Because my favorite thing to do was to read books. Because I was a vegetarian.”
“Certain things, like the unnecessary opinions of unnecessary people, matter less. Certain things, like the life of my Black baby in a country where Black children are shot down by police and blamed for their own killings afterward, matter more.”
Read the entire essay, “But You’re So Smart – You Can’t Be Black” at Ozy.com and be on the lookout for Wabuke’s forthcoming chapbook The Leaving as part of Eight New-Generation African Poets: Tatu coming this Spring.