Not having grown up in the United States and completely overwhelmed by the inhumaneness of inherent and systemic racism, I’ve begun reading up on the history of racial discrimination in the U.S.
At this moment in time, we have the medial “in your face” examples of institutionalised racism and its effects. This has led to an increased awareness here in Europe of individual countries’ own dark history and a stronger voicing of grievances among black European communities.
I have a lot of Nigerian family members, including my brother, living in the U.S. Many married, as my brother did, into Black American families. So, I am particularly interested in hearing their stories especially as most of my relatives live in the southern states where anti-Black laws were entrenched for almost a century. …
Grief-Stricken Numbers From Afar
By the way, and alongside any personal sorrows
A mention worth noting from a place
5 ½ hours’ time difference away —
10 mothers lost a soul they bore,
some a few days others 3 months, before
One mother may never know as her baby was found
a few days previously, abandoned on the ground
10 baby boys and girls only just born, suffocated
in a fire in a hospital’s special maternity ward
on 09.01.2021 …
I wonder if the river knows in its sluggish way
that in a few hours’ time it will burst its banks
and surge through every crease and cranny
of the city’s roads and allys and seep through
crevices under welcoming doorways.
Try as we might there will be distress
for the bags of sand will more than wet.
Metal barriers might withstand the flow
if placed higher than the water’s outgrow.
I listen to the howling wind whipping up
the lashing rain as it unsettles the water
to force it at 6. am the following morning
to gush forth and transcend its boundaries —
nature overtaking us in the fast lane.
Its innocence this evening reflected
the glitter of the seasonal lights. …