Because There Must Be a Reason Other Than Yourself

by Kiera “Miss Haze” Nelson

you’re not like the rest of them
you well spoken, you great test scores
you house among fields
I mean… you should be grateful
all that dark
all that sheep wool hair
and they still want you in the club
you ought to get a haircut
ought to buy a new suit
ought to tuck all that African away in public
ought to be only behind the hyphen
better leave your Africa at home
it will be here when you get back
better show them white boys
better show them black boys
that you ain’t like them
that you different
because you must be different
must be some kind of commodity
must be novel
must be taxidermy over the dean’s office
must be trophy
I mean, why else would they let you in?

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