Culture Shock [Poetry]

I’m not white
but I’m not black
I’m not Nigerian but
I’m not American
I’m not a Republican, but
I’m definitely not a Democrat
I’m an American African and I straddle the fence
I’m constantly in defense
of who I am perceived to be

I am what you say I’m not
and am

Authenticated by home training
My parents reminded me that I wasn’t American
My peers reminded me that I wasn’t Nigerian
How Shakespearean of a conflict

I’m barred by my skin color and intellect
I simply do not fit the pure American mold
I am too bold to be sold into economic slavery
I am too proud to stand by lazily and consume government cheese
I refuse to slide by on my knees to the DFCS office
after acquiring a $140k degree
When I was in college and working they couldn’t supplement me
Had I dropped out of school they would have saved me

Honestly my Nigerian American pride stays with me
I was trained to stand, walk, and talk like a man
I was raised to speak with authority
Now they try to condition me so speak sweetly
Discreetly they wish to castrate the God in me
I refuse

I endure the attacks on my character
knowing I have the alabaster
I admire Jesus Christ who gave his body
for international saving grace
I embrace Prophet Muhammad who went into isolation and meditation
only to return with the word of God
I too carry a holy message and have been rejected
Atlanta is my Acropolis
and I its Prodigy
I forever am the Nigerian American Spartan
with a plan of forever loving hope

I stand as a man even though
I appear shattered like a kaleidoscope
I elope all sides of my heritage
and admire my authentic authority
My story is only beginning
Peace, love, and respect
by any means necessary

Written by Roman Pierce – Atlanta, Georgia

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