Maybe if I asked her to listen to me for a second to educate her that the people of Haiti were not just my people but they were hers too. Is that the problem in American or just Black people? They separated us for so long that we cannot even claim each other as our own? We have to continue to differentiate ourselves from each other.
“I’m not Haitian, I’m Jamaican.”
“I’m not from the South, I’m an up north girl.”
“I’m not dark-skinned, I’m brown skinned.”
“I’m not African, I’m Black.”
“I’m not a nigger…”
Lets say there were 10 children who grew up in one house. Same mother, same father. From babies to teens we are all the same. The house burns down and all ten are taken and brought to 10 different places. Life goes on, all 10 children have 10 more children and the cycle continues. What if the original 10 children never saw each other again? Their children didn’t know who the original aunt and uncle are. When another house burns down, the original 10 childrens offspring’s know 1 of the originals offspring’s needs help. But they don’t know them. They never meet them; in fact they don’t even live in the same country as them. Should they even care about people who have done nothing to add to their lives?
“I’ll send 5 dollars,” one says, recognizing something is better than nothing.
“Not my problem,” another says.
“I know who that is…they owe my neighbors money! Thank God it’s not me,”
“It’s too bad what is happening at their house,”
“What can I do?” The last one asks.
The grandmother sees and hears everything. She’s broken that all of her children are so separated. They are so broken that they don’t even recognize each other. She thinks about the original 10. They were so close. What if the original 10 never separated? Maybe they would be like the children in the beige house, or the yellow house, maybe like the ones in the red house. She starts crying. The grandfather comes in.
“Africa, what’s wrong,”
“They don’t know each other,”
“They don’t want to know each other,”
“But the originals-“
“They are gone now love,”
“Remember when they were teased and called rainbows?” Tears are in her eyes.
“Yes, because they were so many different shades,” he squeezes her hand to comfort her.
“Why can’t they see? We all grew up in one house.”
“They don’t want to love,”
“But they kill each other, put each other down, don’t help the other one even when their house burns down!”
“They don’t want to-“
“That is not how they were built. They were not built to be this way. Strength runs through our blood. We had the strongest house on the street. Courage, power, humility. I’ve had enough!” She jumps up.
“Africa, calm down.”
“I will not calm down. I want everyone home right now.”
“How do you suppose you are going to do that?”
“I’m going to make the earth shake.”