Coloured rhymes with othered,
The “other” no one understands
Not black or white,
In betweenish, but not even.
The “left overs” that the man did not care to define too carefully by design.
Coloured the word,
Enslaved is the history.
Forced couplings and sexual assaults,
My grandmother’s, mother’s, mother.
Herstory, my story,
Intertwined through trauma intergenerational
Because your white is somehow,
No longer something more normal than…
Your white is no longer the default,
By which you get to judge me now,
In this other place,
Twice removed from belonging.
Othered again as immigrant,
“Where were you born and bred?”
Left considering my confusion and delusion,
The toxicity and irony of if or how or why,
I identify with the word “coloured”.
But I can walk the ambiguity of the now,
So much better than you!
Because the unknown…This in between-ness? This fluidity?
…it runs through my blood… my bones…
It is part of my rich tapestry…my story.
I am culturally abundant.
I am colourful.
So I reclaim it!
And whether or not I choose to rename it,
The word is mine.
It is a verb.
I will walk it,
I will cook it and eat it,
Creole delights in constant transition and migration,
I will unlearn it and redesign it.
I will write it and sing it.
I will colour in the erasures,
That you applied to my rich, cultural heritage
When you gave me that word,
Race classification: coloured,
The birth certificate,
Documentation of coloniality…
Not my identity.
Who I am and who I am still becoming,
Is more colourful than the kind of coloured you feared and imagined unworthy.
I was given a name before you called me coloured…
My ancestor was given a name before you enslaved her…
These are my colours, the palette I use to reclaim my story!