Why I was afraid of Black

By Abby Adigun

Because it was in five letters 

That the beauty thriving in my ebony 

Pores who boasted the love of a dying sun

And a rising star, was put to rest before

My irises of immigrant hopes and aspirations

With a hint of fear.

I became no more than the color of smoke

That filled my neighbor’s home

Who had to watch the living memories of family

And love disappear before her very eyes


My individuality was stripped from me

With the whisper of a single


No longer was I the daughter of a Nigerian princess

And a Ghanian scholar

But a point in an argument,

A tragic statistic, and an error in history.

Even as I look at the word today,

Foreign on my own tongue yet too

Familiar to my ears, and a curiosity for 

A little boy who has begun to look 

Twice in the mirror,


Has risen from the ashes 

To be more,

To become