“Who I am, who I’m not”—A poem by Indee Sanders

When people ask me, “who are you?” I tell them this.

I am a girl.

I am a scholar.

I am effervescent, an ebony in a world bursting with ivory.

I tell them, I am the one percent present in courses deemed too taxing

For someone they said ‘should be’ relaxing in core classes.

I am a writer,

A painter,

A creator,

Created by the strong, black women in my life

Who I look up to,

Those who told me true about this Earth we live on.

This earth I live on,

Which seems to be spinning backwards on its axis.

Because the way society’s progressing,

Is sincerely distressing,

Almost as if we’re soaring back in time.

I tell them, I am all things and I am nothing.

I am whatever I wanna be. Whatever I aspire to be.

There is no stopping me.

I am the enemy to most, the hero to some.

This large sum of those who look like me,

Who were told all they’d ever be

Was the Villian.

I am kind, sublime, and oh so fine.

Oh, and this mighty mind, it’s all mine.

So the next time

Someone asks me, “Who are you?”

I’ll them, “All of the above is true.”  

But I’ll also tell them this:

I am not a statistic,

Not ‘ballistic’ because I stand up for what I know I deserve.

I am not your problem to fix,

Not a problem to be fixed.

I am not your token.

Not some badge to be displayed on the front lines,

Holding up your signs

Because you think it’s great for publicity.

I am not your trophy.

I tell them, I am not a subject matter,

Not some topic of conversation,

Some theme meant for analyzation.  

I am not your ad for diversity,

Your proof of inclusion.

Because the only conclusion

that one gathers from your actions,

Is that I’m simply an attraction for your curiosity to ride.

But no longer will my voice hide,

Because, like I said before,

I am an ebony in this world bursting with ivory,

And I…I’m fed up.

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