Who Am I?

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I am a strong, independent, African American.

I stand tall for the things I believe in.

I have been beaten, degraded, and hurt.

The common man has destroyed the way I eat, sleep, and think.

And you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am a young adult,

Who has watched her mom get abused by someone I trusted.

Who has watched a man stand over me in my bed and lust for me.

Who has spoken up but nothing got accomplished.

And you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am told by society that I am nothing.

The lies, the tears I cry.

Who is going to comfort me?

Who is going to love me?

And again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am smart, strong, and energetic,

And again I say strong because of the things I’ve been through.

But I still stand with my head held high.

They can take a lot from me,

but they can’t take away my dignity, my education, or my spirit.

And again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am someone who has struggled with cultural identity.

Culture is me,

What I eat, sleep, and breathe,

how I do things, how I think, my mind set,

And once again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am within a culture and my culture is music, status, and popularity.

Who I am, how I dress, my swag, my outlook on life, sexuality, piercings, tattoos, fragrances,

who I look up to, who I am as a person, my money, who I spend money on, who I spend time with, and what I love.

Culture is where the home is and home is where the heart is.

And once again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I have blind spots and barriers that still exist.

Insecurities that I can’t get rid of.

Trust issues that won’t go away,

Jealousy and deceitful ways,

hatred in my heart for days.

And once again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am a mother that strives for success.

I want the best for my child.

I want to fulfill all of his needs and most of his wants.

I want him to have all of the love that I yearned for.

And once again you ask,

Who am I?

 

I am an individual that recently lost my manager position at my job.

I do not know why this happened to me.

I do not know how I’m going to pay my light bill,

my rent, my gas bill, my car note, my car insurance, my cell phone bill,

And still you ask,

Who am I?

 

I can not be defined by one word because I am many.

I am my own person.

Even though I’ve been stripped down, I survived.

Even though I’ve been told that I will never amount to anything, I survived.

I work hard for the things that I want.

And you should know who I am.

SO WHO AM I?

 

—- Jerenisha Thomas

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