What kind are you?
You’re Native American,
Says the lady as she sits with curlers setting her hair, looking up at me,
bewildered as to why I am slightly bewildered.
I am the native whose history has no copy right laws protecting its existence.
I am the native whose grandfather has lived almost 100 years cutting sugar cane on imperial plantations.
I am not what she wants to hear for it would make her uncomfortable.
She is waiting for the generic response,
a cheerful exclamation of the name of an Indian nation that hopefully she’s heard before
so she can maybe tell me she knows someone who’s 18% of it.
My bloodlines cross atlas’ like the routes of Columbus conquering under the influence, like slaying millions of the indigenous & shipping starving Negroes in boats but this is shit we already know sorry not sorry I don’t owe you a polite retort.
She sits, discomforted by my lack of emotional gusto to her curious nature. She rolls her eyes, touches that diamond, princess cut, with all the lil’ extra ones on the band. I wonder how many young lives stained that stone before it was bleached cleaned off to glisten under florescent lights for a set of big ol’ eyes to look upon it and pay that ultimate
of a few thousand bucks.
Worth every explosive penny.
What she doesn’t seem to understand is that I am no Minstrel Man
These people are quick to jack our cultural shit
I like your headwrap-I want that- I don’t care that I look like a whore I want to dance Black
I want my hood pass and drop N bombs, get the validation of a people even though I would never date one
-not that I’m racist but-
I am beyond classification, a color, a modernized nation built on stolen land. I am not simply an idea, whatever it is you tell yourself what you ‘consider’ me as, comfort food for your mind and guilt, as if to say I am a generic brown woman void of any complexities and experience.
My life not mine to have ownership over, because you are afraid to admit that I am a constant reminder, a stain on your throne called white privilege.
I am not the homogenous female experience, I don’t simply fight for the right to wear my hair natural and have political social status and recognition.
I scream for the liberty of my blood from the destiny of this manifestation
the history untold that lays buried under the waters,
chained and shackled to the ocean floor
and silenced by the guilt of tyranny’s great-grandchildren.
I am a woman who is asked by a handmaiden of white supremacist patriarchy what type of native she is.
I am the type
who pisses out the toxins from this racist corrupt society into a fancy cup for good presentation for when I serve it to you
and asks you if your shit tastes expensive.
— Marcia X
Last night we were privileged to hear Marcia X perform this poem at the Norwich Arts Centre. Thanks y gracias, Marcia, for sharing this with us all last night. It was a really inspired, and inspiring, reading of a very powerful poem.