God, Could you unseed me from my mother’s womb?

“Running the Negro out of Tulsa [Detroit]”
In memory of all the African American women, men and children who were killed and ran out of one of the most thriving black cities in America.

By Atieno Nyar Kasagam.

I was asking myself,
walking by,
building after building,
owned by quicken loans founder Dan Gilbert,
in Downtown Detroit,
is there any hope?

Why do I even care?

Why am I allowing myself to be heartbroken, stressed and overwhelmed by white massas doing what they do best?

Shouldn’t I let the Americans take care of their problems, because I have tenfold where I come from?

I am not sure what I have gotten myself into.

Maybe I can start with the fact that I am a human being.

I have a soul.
I have a sense of empathy.
I share in the psychological and emotional pain and frustration that I see.
I can see and sense and reject the abnormalities that I see.

I am an African.

I am an African who knows about a history of forced migration of Africans to the Americas, and a history of racializing African people, of abusing, dehumanizing, and killing us.

I am an African who rejects the alienation of Africans in the America, and who honors our truth, our kinship, and moves through this space with both the pleasure of our re-union and with the pain of our historic and ongoing struggle.

In America,
where my fate has led me,
I can only, naturally, desire my and our humanity, and flourishment, can’t I?

In Detroit,
where my fate has led me,
I can only frown at the annexation of power, of land, and wealth by rich white men, in the tradition of their fathers and forefathers,
I wonder if white folk are hardwired to colonize, to oppress, to hoard, to imagine themselves supreme, to subjugate, to lord over,
God,

I wonder why my fate has led me here,

why does it feel like,
Johannesburg,
motherfucking soweto 1976,
state of emergency?

God,
Can I go home?
Can I let go of this anger?
Can I let go of this anguish?

Can I give you back the love of my life?

Can I give you back my daughter?

Can we start over?

Can I go back to the University of Nairobi?

Deal with that?

God,

Can I reverse the times?

Can I unread James Baldwin, and Marcus Garvey?

Can I unlove Maya Angelou and Steve Biko?

Could you kill that fire where that fire was born?

Could you reduce me?

Could you placate me?

Could you unseed me from my mother’s womb?

Abeg.

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