We Are Still Drowning, We are the Sea | Teen Ink

We Are Still Drowning, We are the Sea

January 12, 2021
By SurayyahFofana BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
SurayyahFofana BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

We are barely surviving the treacherous waters, trying to tread violently but making no progress,
Suddenly we are submerged deeper in the sea, unable to escape, and expected to just drown.
Then in the midst of the havoc, our ancestors look to us to persevere and swim upward,they paved the way
while our oppressors insist that we aren’t even underwater.
That we aren’t even drowning.
But I sit, with water filling my lungs near my last breath,
While they know nothing but fresh air, unaware of what is like to drown.
Back then, they Captured us, and told us we were inferior,uncivilized, monkeys
While they whipped us out of mere pleasure bonding us to shackles referring to us as objects.
Aren’t they the real animals?
Now they remind us we are all equal we all receive the same,
While they have all the air,
And we are still underwater.
Now, our brothers and fathers can’t even make it home without the fear of drowning,
In fact many of their bodies lie deep at sea.
Out of reach, and never had a chance to have clear air.
All of us were born underwater.
And we are still there.
But just when we are close to reaching the surface,
To taking our first breath of air,
We strain our voices and say that “we matter”
That we deserve to breath air
That we deserve basic human decency and equality
And to no longer suffer at the hands of the violent riptide
They sickness that is racism and all bigotry
Says, “we all deserve to be above water, to not drown”
But we are the only ones drowning,
Although barely surviving,
We keep the ocean waves flowing,
We keep society moving,
We matter
I matter
Black lives matter


The author's comments:

This piece resonates with me personally. As a young biracial black woman, growing up in a predominantly white town, I haven't always felt comfortable expressing/talking about how I interpreted the history of African Americans. In school, white saviorism and colonialism is often justified in many of our history books which not only convolutes the history of black peoole, but silences our oppression as well. This poem for me is a sentiment of courage-)although the poem itself tells a different story), it is a representation of the undeniable strength of Black people in this country and all over the world in a condemning and passionate way.


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This article has 5 comments.


on Feb. 22 at 12:28 am
SurayyahFofana BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
@Sugarskullz @eNVythe1 I JUST SAW THESE THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS MEANS SO MUCH

Sugarskullz said...
on Feb. 20 at 11:59 pm
Sugarskullz, You Dont Need To Know, California
0 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” -Robert Fripp

This was a really good poem and provides a good perspective to people who aren't of color a way to understand what is happening.

eNVythe1 said...
on Feb. 11 at 1:20 pm
eNVythe1, Temecula, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
this is what my freind says about your poem. MoJoJoJo10:16 AM
0-0 That is the most amazing poem I have ever read in my entire life.

MoJoJoJo10:17 AM
I like how the entire poem is like a metaphor of drowning... wow

MoJoJoJo10:18 AM
It really symbolizes how important the topic is... and the fact that this is all put in a poem makes it even more meaningful

eNVythe1 said...
on Feb. 11 at 1:04 pm
eNVythe1, Temecula, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
this is amazing.

on Feb. 5 at 4:26 pm
SurayyahFofana BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
@teeninks