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].
"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?”)"
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
Nobody would know that back home, In chest-high elephant grass prairies, In places where the earth was forever red and bald, We were worse so, Little, roaming nothings.
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
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.
"The boat spews its affliction, Many of them in colorful buoys, Of Kobane Syrian women in damp burqas, Of Olden women clutching prayer beads, And Pakistani men with little pride, And little girls with pink backpacks uprooted from sleep, Another boy, recently broken, is lifeless, purple-lipped."
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.
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.