a letter to eggungun

WRITTEN 2017-2018

Where do histories go to die, 

when our elders do us the disservice of withholding their narratives, only to transition on to the next life, without having shared their experience and knowledge for their generations today? Some of our ancestors were painfully aware of their place on this earth. Were they trying to protect us by withholding the truth of our stories? Our existence? How we came to be?  

Do these memories die? When do they die? 

Trauma pervades and manifests in a complex collage of expressions, 

and luckily, in some spaces, 

we have been fortunate to have been blessed by some

positive manifestations birthed from the fruit of the plants 

that had grown in adversity, oppression, disparities… 

under the American sun. 

While in other instances, the stories are withheld; the names of the misterios that follow our family in spirit are lost; the technologies used to speak to spirit are lost, ripped away, or socially condemned. With regard to the subject of exile, there’s a growing resentment towards/for/to my elders - dead and alive - for having made the commitment to coming to America, but never really arriving… because assimilation is impossible without the sacrifice of cultural identity; the price to pay to truly exist (partially) in american society; Could I truly blame them for their ignorance? How do I placate this injustice? How could I possibly vindicate them, us, we? The american dream would have them trade on their own for plans to participate in a service that wouldn’t have their best interest - or that of the infinite subsequent generations to follow - at hand. Paying, in my opinion, the ultimate price; choosing to murder the ethnic sense of self for the comfort of an entity that once (and still) sought to destroy (what) you (once were/still are/am/is).


I’ve a cultural malnourishment with regard to the theme, or idea of “my ethnic/ancestral sense of self”; I still lack the ability to pinpoint on maps the true origin of the majority of our ancestors. An already byzantine history - once unfurled - was already designed to be unreachable, if not entirely lost to her descendants. If there is anything I’ve been jealous of white americans it is exactly that - outside of the american identity, there’s a strong national and cultural affinity tied to their respective ancestral homelands. We have something similar. Still dictated and defined by white supremacy because for an uninterrupted series of generations we assumed that we just congealed on the landmasses in the Caribbean Sea by the grace of the gods, we just descended from the unfortunate yet fortunate happenings of when the white man, met a native woman, and their kin then produced with the African race…. voluntarily , of course. Our story starts with Columbus, and with slave ships, and with benevolent european migrants, desperate for a life outside of what they knew. Beyond that, ties to anything outside of the Caribbean basin are subject to scrutiny, critique, analysis, and dissection, naturally, through a white supremacist, and sometimes colorist, scope exclusively.