I am Only Black

The following poem was written when I was a student as a submission for the Clamor Art Journal. It is inspired by America’s use of blackness as a symbol of negativity. This places a label on Americans who use black as a label for their ethnic identity.
I am Black.
I’m black

Black market, black cat, black trade

I’m black
The root of all negativity
Black sheep, blacklist, black face

I’m black,
Black American
Not black African

The African has been washed out of me

I speak no language but English
I don’t know of Kwanza, only Christmas
Every man in my family has done his time

Black Friday, black sheep.
Black crime.

I am only black

Black American
My history has been washed out of me
Blackmail, black Monday, black eye

I’m black

The root of all negativity
The other roots have been washed out of me

I am only black


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About Amani Sawari

I am a University of Washington alum, Class of 2016. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in two majors: Media and Communications AND Law, Economics and Public Policy. It's a mouthful but it illustrates how I have a hard time doing only one 'thing'. I am a writer, poet, singer, songwriter and much more. I enjoy sharing my experiences and perspectives with those who are interested and I am a proud member of the black diaspora!
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