Cry, Brotha Cry

Cry, Brotha cry in that private retreat of alluvial heart. Where some turned diamonds, Some made the news, Some found chalk. Anger made a man of you. Butcher-knife to moods caged well for our benefit, Until the kettle whistles. Absent rhyme or reason, Your madness comes neat. Cry, Brotha cry You grab that filthy skin … Continue reading Cry, Brotha Cry

Fleurs du Mal

Enter: You with baptismals and living mothers, For whom the bells toll, At whom the crickets of the veldt titter, Even that swollen savage, fat in the Saharan sun, Even my father and his useless red-clay gods, Even the preacher on evening walks, Casting out a million cankerworms. Enter: Those never somethings, Those never nothings. … Continue reading Fleurs du Mal

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Watching Black Panther

On opening weekend, thirty-seven percent of North American movie goers will be African America [let’s just say Black]. Before today, fifteen percent had never bothered to see Marvel movies. Come rain, come shine. Why? Too white. A sprinkle of racism and white supremacy in real life, makes fantasy punishingly preposterous. “Black folks ain’t paying to underwrite and entertain their own systematic denigration.” Still, thirty-five percent will be unambiguously white. But who cares? I am African [Nigerian-rowdy]. Dressed in a leather jacket (I like to play it cool, under the radar. Ethnically-ambiguous). But by God it pleases me something fierce to see the world pay particular attention to Black Panther, to Africa, to topical stratums of the botched rapport between Africans (allegorically, this is T’Challa) and African Americans (Killmonger). Between Blacks and whites. Marvel and DC fanatics. And its all happening on the big screen, tonight. Post-colonization, post-slavery, post-exploitation, post-rapes, post-Tuskegee, post-Captain America, post- it all [insert all the hyphens you can fit into a Black Studies lecture class].

PoCo Theory: The Theorization of Fiction

"Fiction writing is not for its own sake, a past-time, as taking a knee before a game is not for a flattering camera angle. What good are you if your writing, in 2018, does not upset the digestion of the hegemony? There is also the other space: the la-di-da fiction writer as Novelist (not a simple position, but simple enough), protected by the fine sheen of commercialization to be bothered by literary criticisms, so that when invited to share their sagacity all they discuss is their most recent book, their rituals (“how many cups of coffees make one New York Times bestseller?”)"

Manus Interruptus

Boy, ask not what it be to be a man, Black, Here comes the white casket, an excellent fiction. Here comes the bastard in the story, The ballad man they called, Mr. Black F. Masculine, Seize a stool, boy, B. F. Masculine, will daze you.

Rats & Gypsies

New York is something, taken with a broken heart,she whispers. Falsetto whistle in her gullet. Medals in tobacco teeth. Fingernails of lost boys etched on her face. The bruja woman owns a marble eye. We are rats, she swears. Fucking rats and gypsies, Dogshit sniffing dogshit. Hacks. Except you. No, not you. I smile. I … Continue reading Rats & Gypsies

America in a Brochure

Americans constipated across state-lines, Red-eyed men with dog-tags and paper roofs, Men missing teeth, with limestone bunions, Women and tangled spawns bent under the constant humility of immigration, Lurking along the damp edges of this fine America. Welcome. Fresh Africans sprinkled in Galveston alleys, Like broken glass on Saturday walkways, It was the absence of kindly lack, That did … Continue reading America in a Brochure

Little Black Boys

I caress the battle scars of your open city, Moping faces turn concrete, People nursing little disgusts, Little sicknesses, little envies. People forcing God to bend this way, People doing yesterday things in tomorrow ways.

American Twang

And for this, At the end of another donkey day, My next fight with a blond mistress, Will transpire in the wee small hours of Tuesday, Her ignorance impenetrable, Of the things I have stuck up my business end And this will be profound satisfying.

Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

Twilight finds me a white man again, in a bit of a pickle. And in this painful occupation, In this second skin, In this adopted sepulchre of mine, If ever I prospered well at this classic treachery, As I do sometimes on my evening prowls on the fish market street, Where I finally become something … Continue reading Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

THE JJC DIARY

In Nigeria, we refer to a newcomer to a foreign place as a Johnny Just Come (JJC), a play on Johnny-come-lately. This story is about one of such – a JJC to America. The story is a comical narrative on the travails of immigration for a Nigerian student who bumps into original encounters of racial quirks in America observed with some hilarity and lightheartedness - and some confusion (America is examined through the eyes of members of a family spanning three-generations). Chinuam runs a blog in America - called the JJC Diary - where he summarizes his new friendship with America. He writes back to his know-it-all, loquacious grandma who cannot read to dispel all her long-held American stereotypes. His father has a fantastically unsound view on America as well. The story focuses on a formulaic viewpoint of Black America often held by Black Africans from without, lopsided but ultimately emancipating, with a cast of unforgettable characters.

Blacker than the National Average

It was simply an unbecoming case of the pot and the kettle. A curious occasion of friendly-fire, if you want to be poetic about it. It had become so vilifying in novel ways to find that some members of the black community now echoed the exact same racial stereotypes of anti-black racism on fellow blacks, not from the slant of ‘Uncle Tomness’, no not that, but from a deepened sense of a misplaced heritage and the need to not further murky the waters. More black bodies arriving at airports, struggling to fathom the wrinkles of America, would invariably, result in even increased effort to, as per usual, explain and validate ones black existence in America.