Where I am from

by Renée Smith-Maddox
June 21, 2020

I am from hot sauce, plantains, sorrel, and codfish cakes.
I am from the Caribbean, the South, and Brooklyn, NY (the concrete jungle where dreams are made of).
I am from street games: hopscotch, double dutch, hula hoop, and handball.
I am from jazz, raggae, R & B, gospel music, and hip-hop.
I am from the joy I share with my family and friends.
I am from a family with a heart of gold.
I am from the love of my mother, grandmother, father, daughter, and husband.
I am from the training of my grandmother who understood the power of prayer and giving back.
I am from a phenomenal woman and someone who represents an endangered species.
I am from two African Americans who got divorced because of irreconcilable differences.
I am from the intersection of many identities that are visible but still I rise.
I am from opportunities, preparation, and hard work.
I am from an era of messages that remind me that my greatness is in my integrity and ability to affect those around me positively.
I am from the Soul of Black Folks dealing with the realities of double consciousness.
I am from the bondage of my past that’s rooted in racism and trauma.
I am from ancestors who struggled and people who still struggle for freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.
I am from the radical hope that Martin, Malcolm, Harriet, Langston, Maya and many others gave us.
I am from images, songs, books, lectures, poems, and protests that remind me that freedom is a way of thinking and understanding.
I am from one POWER and one LOVE that operates as freedom of choice.