When i was little i would go out and play basketball after eating dinner with my family. Kitfo injera weighing me down like stomached bricks of a home left behind; reminders of a history immigrated. But i didnt know, i thought i was just chubby. Fattened by kibbay from earth treaded by warriors of generations from now to the time of Solomon.
Queen Sheba is my grandmother and here I thought a green card meant she was a second class citizen. I was ashamed of the way she spoke as she made me white rice and sugar for dinner, lieing about the next parent teacher conference because I didn’t want my teacher to think my family was dumb. For a straight A student, God I was dumb.
In highschool I was proud to be different because all the other black kids were “just black”, they couldn’t go “back home” like my mother would call it. This place where honey didnt form in hives but flowed in rivers. And even as they looked back at it through rosy glasses i could only look forward and see this light. Cuz the closest i had ever been was in my mothers womb and little did i know then that i wouldnt be back for over 20 years. 20 years spent claiming a history i thought I knew, how stupid of me to think anybody could know a history like that. To think anybody who scribbles their name in an area of the sky knows any more about the sky than the stars do is sadly mistaken. You see those stars may be long gone but that light you see is so you never forget how greatly they shined. How awesome they were, how long ago it was when they looked up to a blank sky and decided to scribble their names. Direct descendants of kings before Christ and incarnations of his angels continue to breed a history as expansive as the sky.
And here i stand 7,153.5 miles away, closer than ive ever been. Knowing no matter how many greek calendar easters i celebrate or green yellow red things i buy, African is a state of mind. A place of beauty you have to see to understand so don’t ask me about it. But know that what makes me African is not merely blood, but respect, love, and longing for that place back home. That culture and history as thick as the wot my grandmother stirs in the kitchen.
Today i walk around with kitfo injera in my stomache. Still pretty chubby but no longer weighed down you see those bricks are now in my hand weapons of construction that i use to build for myself a castle. Fit for King Solomon, inhabited by the son of Haile Selassie but you see it’s portable. And right now it’s in America. Still guarded by the Lion of Judah I have rastafarians playing in my back yard Europeans and Asians in my living room and in my kitchen are pots from every corner of Africa brewing the same beer that fed the slaves who built the pyramids. And on the corner stone of my castle there’s an inscription written in Ge’ez with english subscript. It says…”Welcome home.”