That Maafa Mentality

I wrote this poem years ago. Since it’s Black History Month, I thought I would dust off these words and share them again.

***************************

That Maafa Mentality

Freedom!
Are we truly free?
We may not be chained in bondage,
But what about our mentality?

Our ancestors were conditioned to believe they were
idle, repugnant, feeble, timid, repulsive creatures.
They made us forget we are Kings and Queens.
Made us think we need them for our survival.
But don’t get it twisted.
They needed, need, and will need us.

Because they could not understand us
They feared us
Because they feared us
They hated everything about us
Because they hated everything about us
They tried to control us
Because they could not control us
They tried to destroy us
Because they could not destroy us
They tried to kill us.

Our black skin
Our broad noses
Our thick lips
Our kinky hair
Our shapely curves
Our innovative minds
Our beautiful colors
Our numerous tongues
Our collective nature
Our thunderous laughter
Our heart beat.

Those who kidnapped and tried to destroy the
Spirit of our ancestors have left this physical world.
Even though the spirit of jealousy and
Hatred resides in their descendents,
they are not the ones I have to worry about.

We have taken on their ways as our own.
Internalized and expressed hate to the same
qualities that make us a unique people.
Why this internalized oppression?
Because of that maafa mentality.

The damage has already been done
It is being passed down to each generation
Why don’t we realize what we are doing to each other?
Because of that maafa mentality.

If you don’t believe me then why do we
kill each other
steal from one another
discard our elders
disrespect our parents
dishonor our sistas
talk down to our brothas
abandon our children
gossip about folk
think it’s all about me?

Can you tell me why?
It’s all because of that maafa mentality.

You’re strong my brotha.
You’re beautiful my sista.
How can we soar to the future like the
Sankofa bird if we don’t know Our Story?
Don’t!
Please don’t give into that maafa mentality.

* Crystal Awkward 2004

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Posted on February 19, 2010, in Seeds of Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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