By Precious Alagba

America, I am.

Well, I don't claim America.

I don’t necessarily shame America.

But the pain that you generate to my fane as I watch brothers and sisters get slain is enough to make me bane America.

I pledge allegiance to the flag…

Of the United states of what?


I don’t really think you peep the grievances that I speak as we are forced to kiss your feet like you gave birth to thee.

You are so quick to throw me under the bus or matter of fact,  the back like I was a load on your truck.

We were enslaved for years Cotton-On cotton off building the land you so greatly fear ro have us walk on.

From Mongo Park to Otto to Leopold to Crow, the list goes on and on of explicit ache passed on to and fro.


Same hate, new day.

Whenever my cousins express a deep yearn to come to the “Land of the Free”, I can’t help but cringe and laugh and tell them how it really be.

Same me, different way.

I wake up with the oh to familiar strain afflicted on my main and my mane and I abhor it.

I am a darker sister in the US of A.

You may also know me as the monkey, ape, black giant, cottonball, colored person or negro.

I have two roles, act the part or stand afar.

I choose to stand afar like so many of my kin and you scorn and kick in the shin.

You strangle, hate, derate, and debate me.


America, I am.

The land of the free but yet you don't see what you do to me.

A place that runs deep with cocoyams and rivers longer than legs on my 6’5 figure.

Vibrant music and food, colorful clothing designs, dances and hymns that come generations and generations before us.

My people have given you everything.

Oil from Nigeria, freedom from Liberia, gold from Ghana, coal from Sierra Leone and let’s not forget the millions you stole from their home.


America, I am.

A place where my culture and cuisine is seen as a trend only to be shoved back down a throuts when we defend.

We created everything.

Your roads, your economy, your consumer authority, your security, your engineering, even your comfortability, but we get killed on the streets as if this was 1693 as you chase “pig” to kill and to eat.

Guns blast and rapid fire at our once strong bodies.


We die, day-to-day for this country, and what do we get in return?

Besides the depletion of the value of the greatest nations of Earth, what has Africa gotten?

Nothing besides the hate of each part of ourselves: hair, color, body, shape, food, fashion, heart, tongues and speech, our very existence, everything about my sisters and me.

America treats us like the scum between their toes and the gunky water within Flint Michigan’s rows.

I could claim you, but that alone would give me a snigger.

As the country that has “raised” me.

I will always search to shame you just as you do because even though I am not America.

America, I am.

Hey! My name is Precious Alagba. I use she/her pronouns. I’m a junior and currently a two-year delegate from the Gardena Carson Family YMCA (GCY). My poem is called “America, I am”. It was a poem I made in response to Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes poems on their racial perspectives of America. As a Nigerian, with a rich culture that grew up black in black culture within America, I had several points of view to share. This poem means a lot to me and the message I was attempting to get across. I hope you enjoy and really take a moment to take apart each line.



By Adebanke Osibamiro


I am a variable

in an equation where race is an addition to the norm Majority,

treated like a token in the growing call for diversity;

I am not just a Color.

I come from roots: deeper than the redwood trees and stronger than diamonds can be,

I am a melanated queen,

I stand strong in adversity;

But don’t try me because it took a village to raise this child of wonder.

You can be in awe of me:

My pride, my stride, the confidence and all of me...comes from Africa,

A nation so misunderstood by the popular majority-

But look at me:



As I navigate my way through Colorism, the heat keeps rising;

It’s not just global warming.

Keep in mind what you say; don’t hesitate

Is what they told me.

My Voice matters more than a Color.

My Heritage Matters

I come from kings and queens, a tribe that is so often overseen

By the media, that portrays us as


Africa: the nation I call mine to me is so divine to my identity:

My language, dance, and presence o da (is good in the Yoruba language)

My strife

My body

My look

My talk

My walk

My heritage; is all mine and more than a Color.

I wrote my poem “More than a Color” based on the demand for people of color within the media and within American society. I found that often one person of color in a movie was a “token” placed by screenwriters to fit in with the demand for a diverse cast instead of expanding on the cultural backstory of the role. The “token” is often a racially ambiguous person who could be white, black, or in between with little or no appreciation or acknowledgment of their culture. As an African woman of the first generation of immigrants, who has always fought with confidence, in recent years have been able to find the confidence within my Nigerian heritage. As a Yoruba, learning the language and history of my tribe allowed me to acquire the confidence necessary to appreciate and recognize my individuality. That is why I included Yoruba in my poem because I am proud of the Kings and Queens who paved the way for who I have become today. Having grown up in a society in which black women are not often depicted; as positive roles, I have found the positive role of wonderful black women in my family. Within the media especially Africa, the nation I call mine is almost always depicted as poverty still the average American assumes that people in Africa lack electricity and ride lions to school. Frequently, black people are confined to Stereotypes whether it's appearance or intelligence, it is important to remember all black people are different and do not just fit one category or restriction. The history and achievements of people of color need to be shown more often and proudly because of the impact Black People have made in the world.