i’m listening to Noname for the first time.
i had heard a song of hers before, but not the full discography.
this is a feat for me—
in middle school i hated rap.
if only middle school me could see me now.
would she be pleased?
i go to a white school
i’ve dated white people
i still live in a white country
when i was younger my parents made sure my dolls were Black.
they showed me Black television.
they showed me that even in a mostly white private elementary school
i was still Black.
that won’t change.
i find myself ashamed.
i hit middle school
surrounded in Black culture—
the only white people were the teachers—
and i rejected my Blackness
i was ashamed
now i’m ashamed of my shame.
i find myself ashamed, too
that i’ve only dated white people—
they’re the only ones who’ve asked
and i was desperate
and then i let white people break me.
a white man once called me a mosaic—
broken but beautiful.
if i still spoke to him,
i’d tell him no
i’m not a mosaic because i’m broken
i’m a mosaic because i put myself back together.
i’m decolonizing myself little by little
repairing the tears white people gave me
repairing the ways i tore myself down
to fit a white mould.
i’m starting with music.
music is healing,
and Noname is good.
she looks like me, too.