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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 20, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 20, 2018



Portrait Reflection

I am the first human race. If life started in Africa, I was God’s first idea, made in His image. If the inception of the human race was indeed in Africa, then why aren’t we global powers. And perhaps we once were, but my history begins after colonialism. My history is buried in slavery and all else before has been strategically ignored. Yes, strategically, because my body was too profitable to go to “waste;” justification for my enslavement gave birth to race. We, the first human race, are not a melting pot of black, but diverse. We, the first human race, cannot be boxed and yet we have been imprisoned from within. Who can set us free from ourselves?


I am Ghanaian American. I’m never fully one or the other but a messy blend of both. I can never separate the two. I am Ghanaian when I speak Twi, the language of the Ashanti tribe. Though Ghana is a country carved out by colonizers, I must embrace a name given to me. Who knows who I would’ve been if countries in Africa were formed more naturally. I am American when English is woven into the fabric of my every attempt at Twi. I am American when I have the answers to political problems because “democracy”. I am Ghanaian when I understand the notion of  “organized chaos” in Kumasi market place. I am Ghanaian when I go to the slave castles on the coast and shake my head at the thought of giving Europeans our rights. I am American because of my rich education.  I am Ghanaian, when I don’t want to be a descendant of a “slave.” I am Ghanaian when I want to be viewed as different from “ghetto” Black people. I am Ghanaian American reaping both the advantages and the disadvantages of each label.


I am Black. To the person who didn’t invite me to her birthday party. I am a Black woman to opportunity. I am uneducated, masculine and loud. I am the last and not the first. My hair is not my glory, but my vice. To the world ruled by white supremacy, I am their footstool. And even my God is a blue eyed, blonde haired man—the very opposite of me. Or is he? Is black cursed or is that the shadow of the oppressor hovering over my view. Does the Bible oppress my kind or include us? Could it be true that Jesus was a colored man lynched two thousand years ago?


I am an African…African American. Too “articulate” to be double chocolate making me the original Oreo, type African. “Oh you good” until you speak and lose your  black card for the semester, type African. Why does your mom pronounce your name with an accent, type African. Do you see lions when you visit Ghana? Type African. Lexine must be good at Math and Science, type African. Booty scratcher, type African. Lips too wide, skin too dark, type African. Are you Black or African American? No I am the “other” type African American.


I am the first Human race. I am Ghanaian. I am American. I am Black. I am African. I am African American. But why can't I be a perfect conglomerate of all identities and still uniquely myself?


© Copyright 2019 Lexine Cudjoe. All rights reserved.

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