You are a Stolen African, not a “Person of Color”

Terms like “PoC” are dangerous and water down the substance of my culture and history. What even defines a person of color? Is it DNA, skin color or tone, paternal or maternal blood lines or maybe hair texture? Is an olive complected Causasian a person of color? Is an albino black woman not a woman of color? Can this term be manipulated in its broadness to the exclusion of the people the title evokes? Think of the term minority — how many firms get minority designated funding because of a white female lead? I don’t think our civil rights movement made provisions for her, but somehow she was added to the “minority” lineup.

Person of Color, like so many whitewashed phrases in the United States English, comforts white people and removes responsibility and reflection from their thoughts and actions. We were slaves, niggers, negroes — all very powerful terms that conjure notions of the true essence, personalities and proclivities of the people who enslaved us. They would rather us be happy and forgetful and tote monikers of mild and broad generalizations than jarring, concise titles of truth.

So, who am I? I am an African woman. To be more precise, I am a Stolen African who remains in the land of my forefather’s captors. We dress up this fact in pretty niceties and pretend that strange fruit no longer decorate Southern trees (and those above the Mason-Dixon line). We allow ourselves to be watered down by ever-changing terms that renew by the decade, such as negro, black and African American, while we are consistently murdered by racist institutions designed for our extinction.

We have a unique and distinct struggle. We have a unique and powerful history. It isn’t Indian or East Asian. It isn’t Mexican or Chinese. It is African. The tapestry of our history did not come from the cotton we raised on this soil, it was fashioned of gold at the beginning of civilization by the world’s first hands.

It is my greatest hope to return to the soil from which I was taken, no matter east, west, north or south, and give to her all that I was able to secure while away. In the mean time I stay loyal to Mama Africa. I stay cognizant of the one truth that the first people and all black people, no matter the shade, descended from Africa. This fact is inescapable no matter what label you choose to wear so you might as well wear the right one — Stolen African.