Why Am I Black

by Toris Okotie

Why am I black? 

Tell me, 
Ten hours of hard labor, 
Under the blazing sun, 
Picking cotton, 
No food, 
Less water, 
And these bruises on my back, 
From the lashes of my master, 
Blisters on my hands and feet, 
Toiling, sweating, in the heat, 
No rest for my weary soul, 
And you ask me, 
Why am I black? 

Why am I black? 
Is it the darkness of my skin? 
The strength of my bones, 
or, the history of my heritage 

Year ago,
The colonial ship landed; 
Close to the equator 
they meet us, 
by the radiating sun of Africa 
Oh! I could hear voices, 
Voices of children crying, 
for their mother, 
their father has been taken into slavery. 

Ones we were known as Africans, 
They came and called us Blacks. 

Why am I black? 

Iím black, 
Because history made me black, 
Slavery made me black, 
The weather made me black: 
My heritage made me black. 

Iím black, 
because black is who I am.

Why Am I Black by Toris Okotie

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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