My Name

by Liza Ellen

Where I'm from
we weave existence into formation
with words
We widdle words into life
We call it Nommo

Creating worlds, ways, eras,
with words
chants, songs, reprimands
even so
that word,


stuck to me and encased me
it became a web that tightens the more I struggle.

I tried to take it from you

"Black and proud"

but there again is that black
rooting my pride in a need to defend

I tried black and beautiful
but beautiful made the black pretty
but did not illustrate my glow

Now black and sexy
brings a darkness to my divine sensuality
and dilutes the power of my love making

yet and still
the intentional obstructive
Black remains

Black is defined by struggle
slavery, injustice, isms, oppression
black is defenseless, disenfranchised

Prey for the Predators fancy
it thwarts the truth

400 years ago
someone gave me that word


I'd never heard of the term
Never married the glowing mahogany in my hue to black
or black to me

but someone told me
that I was Black
and that meant

I was second
oppressed, a good dancer
less intelligent, communal, late to everything
and most importantly
less than

Less than yellow, brown, white, red..
see black the color
is at the bottom
of the spectrum
it conspires with lowly entities
entities beneath black

heinous concepts
evil and violent

Its power is immeasurable but
it's innately
inherently malign.

I am not that

No visual attribute
created by juxtaposition
can hold my vastness

I am a creator
spinning worlds in my mouth.
I am mother of all
Dictating branches and survival as poems and psalms

I am Earth's
mother tongue
Her consciousness whispered from her womb
I speak her secrets of antiquity
wrote the original word

So that word
THAT word: Black
was a word
created to be
gooey, thick,
strapped to me
by an insane frame of thought
to cut off the root

That word is a new creation
with no past, no legacy, no roots.
It is only 400 years old.

But I am time

I spoke the word time
am genesis
am consciousness of the passing of life
first to perceive the day and night cycle
the traveling of the earth around the sun
cycle of human life's fertility

I am the original I
the first to know the separation of light and dark
cold and hot
silence and sound
I am the original perceiver
free and open
to become and create
what I am, what I will be
I am the ability to define
creator of definition

So forgive me my lapse of memory
Accepting the wrongful definition

Although silence and endurance

kept me
brought me
through the
lie that you created with your word power

Though today I live amidst the lie
yet still I know and remember

I am not Black

When you gave me the term
My shock and fear of your tyranny
left me dumbfounded and faithless

In an effort to live and not die at the hand of liars
wanting not to leave this earth as a character in a fictional tale
of how the earth was lost

I was afraid to utter my name
and although my fear
paired with
the assault made me want to forget

I still remember
What I am,
What I am called
So allow me to reintroduce myself,
I am