For Boys Like Me Who Were Born Black By Adetayo Omotoyosi
POSTED 06/26/2018 12:23:30
Many a times, boys like me who were born black came into this world with innocence, but the world received us with cold arms. Despite this our parents accepted us, some parents though, never did. We got a bit of celebration amidst little expectations.
We were told we don't belong to this world, but we kept still, marvelling at the silence of the world. Our hearts became enraged with bitterness, wondering how cruel this world can be.
But boys don't be shocked, haven't you heard of man’s inhumanity to man? Oh! You have never heard of Climate Change and how our society has polluted our environment? Black boys remember that their cruelty is not only to you but to animals and even to our environment.
Black boys like me who grew up in the Bolek'aja apartment were told we will never amount to anything just because of our colour. We took it at first, as an insult, but later as a challenge. We moved on with dear lives, from babies, teens and now we are grown adults, some of us became proud of our colour just like the Sudanese model, Nyakin Gatwech the queen of the dark. We rode on the horses of her self confidence, her uniqueness became our shelter and our comfort zone.
But some boys became ashamed of who they are, they tried in vain to change their colour, making it look like black skin is a "Gaffe." But can you really blame them?
No and Yes!
Napoleon Bonaparte said "there are different ways of assassinating a man - by pistol, sword, poison or moral assassination. The last is what the society used to kill these boys, they die not by the sword, nor by poison, not through the bullet wounds but by moral piercing of their minds.
Some of these boys found comfort in bleaching, carol white and everything white became their second skin. Some that couldn't withstand it, committed suicide, some are living but they are not existing, they forgot that existence precedes essence. Shyness shows registered a mark on their foreheads, they lost their voice to the crowd, cowed into silence and never to be heard again.
Black boys like me, I hope you will remember that no one can truly hurt you without your permission?
I hope one day, black boys, you will ride on the horses of "black colours" moving faster in swift alacrity without turning back. Black boys always remember that you can become a man for season if you will just reason.
Black boys like me I want you to remember this line from Saviour The Village Writer - "Like lots wife at the gate of Sodom, do not allow your fortunes to get dry."
For boys like me who were never ashamed of their colour, we spread our beehived wings into the tentacles of arts. Art was magnanimous enough, it gave us Literature in its very own nature. We stood still wondering what it has in stock for us. Some of us changed the narratives, we thus became creative, we fecundify our minds and spoke through our creativity. We made it evident when we dope our line in written poetry, others thread that same line but diverted to spoken poetry. I guess the literary world is big enough to accommodate all of us.
You should know that boys like me have paid the price and we still continue to pay the price for success. We cannot afford to be failures, so we put in more work.
Sometimes, for boys like me, "Writers Block” becomes our stumbling block, we muse on nature for salvation, praying that our inks will flow again like the rivers of Babylon. And when the rivers flows a little we briskly scribble our thoughts down without recourse to sages, but in no distance time, our writings flaws wept, looking at us in the mirror as if it were our shadows.
Boys like me took the shame in solitude and asked why we did not hide those flaws? We abandoned writings and anything related to arts and literature, but how can we live in a world when our environment breathes through the oxygen of Arts?
As time goes on boys like me learnt from Socrates, "Man Know Thyself." We engage in game of self-discovery, we sought help from meditations. We immersed our minds into the ocean of knowledge, days turn to weeks and weeks turn into months and years came by and we are still lurking around like father Christmas that only comes once in a year, showering gifts of our discovery on the gullible populace.
During those moments, we learnt, relearn and then unlearn, paving way for new and fresh ideas from the flooded bank of knowledge.
Like a Seshat, we mastered the act of writing unleashing our anger on our society through our messages. Our pen bleeds and forcefully pen down our aged thoughts.
But boys do not be carried away by the charlatans, for their deceit knows no bounds, they are after their self interest. Remember black boys, not to get immersed in the hype on social media – the likes, comments and the “wow” of a thing.
Black boys like me, remember it is not "Uhuru" yet, there are more hurdles to climb, do not set the roof on fire, because you might need that small hut when the rain falls. Do not burn your bridges yet because you might need them when coming back, also remember to be good to people when you are up clinging to the ladder, you will definitely need them when coming down.
Boys like me walk shamelessly, gallantly with valour, our colour became our weapons, we pierced our environment with our writing swords, mapping out strategies to defeat our detractors.
There will be many challenges in the future, but boys be brave enough to confront them,do not run away like the children of Israel did during Pharaoh's reign, gain enough ground and defeat your enemies like modern day Isreal did during the Arab Six-Day war in 1967.
It is my sincere wish, boys that you all muster the courage to be you, never to be ashamed of you and accept your flaws, but not accepting the colour of your skin as your flaw, rather as a blessing.
Boys I hope you will one day complement and celebrate black beauties. Hope you will see the cloud in its blackest form? It pours down showers of blessing, at the end the atmosphere is calm, the crops receive a touch of his blessing and they grow, the farmers roar in joy.
Lastly, boys, let me leave you with this, I hope one day when you see people mourning and they are on black clothes, you will caution them or at least not join them. Let them know that black is beautiful, black is not evil, black is not sorrowful.
Boys till we meet again, I hope you will still remain black ?
Yours truly Baba DuDu of Yorubaland.
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