White folks say I am a second class citizen.
Immigrants say I have no roots, culture, I am not American, I am a cultural orphan. They ask how I can be proud of a country that has committed the most ugly, spine-tingling crimes against my community? They tell me it is of grave disrespect to do so while also urging me to find my culture in an unknown land.
Black People say I am a coon for wanting to identify with the oppressor.
I say to Black Americans, we must learn that two things can be true at once; there are problems everywhere, definitely here, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. We deserve to proclaim American status boldly as anyone else, we have paid for it in blood.
I say to immigrants, you flee from your countries everyday for various reasons; opportunities, escape from a hellish government structure, poverty — all to come to America. Yet when you’re here you still proudly boast your flags, representation tucked neatly in hand, did you not forget the place that forsake you so? We both have pain in our countries, yet we rise all the same when our names are called. I also tell them, make no mistake, American culture is Black Culture, do the research.
I say to Whites, you must understand that my ancestors are the reason we are the richest country in the world. I have claim to the name American, our very essence is rooted in the soil, its a part of the trees and leaves that blow in the wind, the same trees that you lay under for shade were the same trees matured in my grandfathers ashes.
I am an American Black woman, proudly.