Colorful digital transformation of a photo of a Black woman in a garden looking off to one side.

POETRY: Go Back to Africa

by Helen Collier


“Go back to Africa!” the white man screamed in my face as if to say this country belonged only to his race.

“I would go back,” I said to him, “if I could only go alone, but I must take you with me.”  

“What do you mean take me with you?” he said. “I’m already living in my country.”

“All your genes and your DNA must go along with me as well as your white skin, you know.”

“And what, might I ask, does that mean?” he asked. 

“You cannot imagine,” I told him, “how devastating it was for some of us when we discovered we were not white but Black.

“Our DNA from the man who caused our conception, even our skin color, indicated that we were white while the genes of our mothers said that we were not.

“Yes, I would love to go back to the motherland, but I’m afraid you would have to come along.  All those genes of yours you have given to us from the pleasures you enjoyed from using our Black female bodies from centuries back must come along with me as well and spill their deeds upon that land, which most likely would send us all to hell.”


Helen Collier is a prolific writer of Magical Realism and Science Fiction as well as prose. “Going
Back to Africa” is one of many subjects Collier tackles. The Unexpected and the Unexpected II
When the Face of America Changed are titles she’s written about race in America.

📸 Featured Image: Original photo by CreateHERStock via Nappy.co used under a Creative Commons 1.0 license. Image transformation by Emerald staff.

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