Chocolate Gold

Chocolate Gold

Her skin is beyond Ghiradelli grade.
The highest quality cocoa made in a demanding market, one that prides itself on confectionary.

She must be acknowledged.

Such color forged on a continent with an embarrassment of riches regarding complexion, yet a rarity she remains. 

A continent crowded with resources and still she shines through.

Like chocolate gold. 

Her value exceeds the flesh easily.

Her intellect leaves her uninhibited with unrelenting ambition, just like her ancestors. 

Ancestors that built empires of unmatched wealth then had unparalleled democracy built on their backs. 

It is a blessing and a burden, all the while amazing.

She, in her scintillating shades, has not just defied the statistics:

She has restructured them. 

She is the most educated of the American people after having the least opportunity for the longest time.

She didn’t complain but labored gracefully;

Exchanging battered mistress for a bachelor’s.

Switching maids and mammys to a master’s.

Trading crack depictions for a doctorate. 

This desire must be admired. She is demanding change by making it. Not asking for success but taking it.

Never focused on accomplishments but on what has not been won.

Although if today she declared herself done, her blueprint is bestowed upon her brother, sister, daughter, and son.

They would all do well to engulf themselves in her element. 


I am not American

I am not American

I am not American.

Don’t be fooled by my passport. Don’t be swayed by my birth certificate.

These papers are political and politics is made by people.

I am not American. 

My language is the evidence. I speak the tongue of a land I’ve never been to, of shores I’ve never seen.

Do the French speak Chinese? Do the Portuguese know Russian?

What most would find a frivolous discussion is my reality.

I am not American. 

Why else would my countrymen make up words to punctuate my difference?

Nehgra. Nigger. Negro. Nigga. African American. I’ve never been any of that.

I’ve only ever been Cameroonian and Congolese. Togolese and Ivorian. Ghanaian and Beninese. Malien and Senegalese. Even a slice of Scandinavian.

The DNA does not lie.

My countrymen either lied about who I am or told the truth about what they thought of me. 

I am not American.

I have fought and died for this country as property. I have fought and died for this country with second-class status. 

I have represented this country in competition at the highest levels from Olympic races to the Presidential one.

Through my efforts I have emerged victorious for this country. It still hasn’t been enough to guarantee my equality.

Peeking into a prison proves it.

Checking a college campus confirms my claim. 

Viewing a boardroom makes it plain.

I am not American. Yet an American I remain. 



There’s something about fried turkey that we can’t leave alone. 

Carving up the bird till all that’s left is bones. 

I believe there’s magic in the baked Mac and cheese, Grandma’s a sorcerer of sorts. 

True, too, for the collard greens, I can’t help but overload my fork.

Usually, I limit the pork but there’s no denying the way the ham is glazed. 

Some eyes closed while dad prays, others can’t break the gaze. 

Meatballs are magnificent drizzled with terriakyi or BBQ, while the deviled eggs look heavenly and you can’t eat less than two.

The potato salad is picture perfect. The pasta salad too, but the corn pudding drives me crazy.

I told my aunt if you know nothing else, know that.

I thought, I had my overeating under control, but without fail I relapse.

There’s just not enough room on these plates to get everything on the first take.

Stuffed, but I’ll make space for the yams.

The green beans do appease, and gravy must make it in my plans.

When I’m with my country cousins chittlings make a cameo.

When I’m with family out West how the wine does flow. 

The way black folks put it all together it’s like the production of a show. 

I’ll be honest: I’ve done more watching than working in my day.

Anyway, what is dinner without dessert?

Stomachs seem to stretch to fit in the final course.

The spread is simply stupendous, pastries of every size and shape. 

Some prefer the pecan or the pumpkin, but I think sweet potato pie takes the cake.

After all the food you would think we focus on all the extra weight, but we shift focus to Christmas.

A month is all we have to wait.

I’m so thankful for my family.