Sunday 16 April 2017


They sold us a white savior
With blond hair and blue eyes
Porcelain skin so clear
And beard so perfectly groomed
He was everything we were not
And represented everything we couldn’t be
So we latched on to his saving power
And hoped that one day
We just may qualify
To be and look like him

Then curiosity came calling
And wrapped her musk around us
Subtle at first
Overpowering as she held our hearts in her hand

And we began to ask
The questions fear had forbidden us from searching
How could he be white?
When he was from
The place where the sun woke
Where hair was so black
It shimmered of living fortresses
Where the sun kissed skins
To a burnt earthy gold
Where eyes were enveloping
Like the hug of midnight
And when a prominent forebear of his
Was like the flames of fire, ruddy

But beyond that
Curiosity directed our gaze
To a more salient part of the art
That was the story we had been sold

Why were we so quick to accept
The white savior sold to us?
To believe we needed his salvation?
To believe we were so unworthy
That we needed the alabaster skinned savior
To make us feel loved?
Was it because
Before we were sold the white savior
We were put in slavery first
Beaten, abused, raped
Sent to the field to work
Fed with leftover food like dogs
And had nothing of our own?

Is it because our names were replaced
Our heritage erased
Our culture deemed ‘barbaric’
And our gods made to naught?
Or maybe because we saw
That as our siblings graduated
From coal to tawny
They got better treatment
From our Massas
We believed that Ivory
Had to be right
And ebony all shades of wrong

So if we couldn’t be washed physically
(and not from a want of trying)
Then maybe we could be saved
From the stink of our s(k)in
And finally be good enough
For the white Massa who owned us.

Emboldened some more
We took the lead this time
And curiosity followed
Knowing she has lit a raging fire

If white Savior was so right
Why did he allow so much evil
Under his watch?
Why did he allow his adherents to
Pillage our lands
Abuse our women…and men
Sell us like property
Treat us even less than animals
Denigrate our humanity
Our essence
Our worth?
How could he be ‘love’
When he only left hate and pain and sorrow
In his wake?

The more we looked
The less appealing white savior became
The more we saw
The clearer the tapestry became
And we could tell for ourselves
That white savior was
A beast
A savage
An aberration of everything that is good
And we knew we didn’t want him
How could we
When we had only been told
Of the white savior
To help a group of people
Lord it over us?

And then… we looked around
Searching for a new savior
Someone who loved us
For ourselves
Ebony skin so black
It rivaled midnight’s caress
Or body so sensitive and freckled
We call it Albino
In essence
Flaws, perfection and all

So we looked around us again
Over and above
Here, there and everywhere
And we found no one

It wasn’t until we looked inwards
Into ourselves
That found for ourselves
Our own savior!
Knowledge rushed in
And then we remembered
That there was a savior
Who indeed was
From the land where the sun wakes
A savior to his people
But one who the world needs
Not for the color of his skin
But for the words he spoke
And the character he epitomized
The love he showed
And the death he died
Because he completely believed
That we should
Love the LORD
And love each other
Like we do ourselves

If that isn’t the greatest thing
We wonder what is

And so we have decided
That his GOD will be our GOD
That his life, our blueprint
His death our sacrifice
And his legacy our heritage
We never needed a white savior
All we needed was
To look inward
And find bits of the still small voice
‘I love you’.

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye

1 comment:

  1. YHWH=I am who I am (Not 'always' who they said I am or expect me to be).
    Jehovah= I am who you 'need' me to be ( Not who you 'want' me to be)