African Oxygen

February 9, 2021

“My inspiration for writing African Oxygen came from me being a little girl and hearing so often that my hair texture was never good enough. As I grew older, I gained a lot of confidence in myself. I started loving my skin, my hair, and I realized the power of having confidence and saying no. And also believing that I am good enough and I am beautiful enough.” – Jibeh Fatty

African Oxygen

I COME FROM A FOREIGN LAND CALLED AFRICA
A BELIEVER OF THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH
I WILL NEVER IDENTIFY AS AN AMERICAN
ONLY TO FORGET MY ROOTS

LONG SPARKLY BOOTS
THAT ROSE HIGH TO MY THICK THIGHS
BEING TOLD THAT MY PRETTY CURLS WERE NOT IN STYLE

MAMMA SPLASHED PAINFUL PERM INTO MY SCALP
CHEMICALS BURNING MY BLIND EYES
WHAT A DISGRACE
JUST SO OTHER KIDS WOULD BE PLEASED BY STRAIGHTENED STRANDS

Just so the public eye wouldn’t deny – WHAT THEY CALL ME, “an African booty scratcher”

MY BEAUTIFUL CURLS DAMAGED
ROOTS DAMAGED
ENDS DAMAGED

MY MENTALITY WAS DAMAGED

THE WORLD PERCEIVES US BLACK WOMEN AS INFERIOR SPECIES
WHILE LIGHT SKIN WOMEN ARE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE SUPERIOR BEINGS
We are tired of being manipulated

WE ARE TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED TO

Destroy our skin cells,

And follow the latest trends

WE ARE TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED TO

To hate our culture, and be ashamed of who we are

Because who we are, are

Mathematicians, teachers, activist, doctors, dancers, singers, POETS, ATHLETES, rappers, actors,

BEING black is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I am proud to be a black woman.

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