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 says writing has been in her spirit since her mother placed a pencil in her left hand and told her, “God made you a left-handed writer for a reason; it’s up to you to share with the world what that reason is.”  She resides in Auburn, Washington.

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

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