Word to the Wise by Honora Ankong

Word to The Wise
Honora Ankong

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
— Zora Neale Hurston
You gotta leave all your black at home before you go out every morning/ All that melanin, how you gonna hide under the sun? /We got people out here hunting our kind/ and your brother ain’t even got your back/ he gonna sell you for a dime/ Can’t even hide in the comfort of the dark/Don’t you hear the growls? / The wolves are coming for you /Snap! / They got another one /and the other one is left to tell the tale/You know they want what you got / You know they want your black self / so you gotta leave it all at home/ every morning before you go outside/Hide it in that big pot, / you know the one momma used to cook up the courage to tell you “listen son, keep ya head down don’t look too suspicious / you already smell like bait”

They gone kill you and not even pretend like it was an accident,
they gone kill you in the light of day;
they’ll call it a sacrifice,
a modern-day crucifixion.

Listen black boy. There’s people out here hunting our kind, so you gotta leave all your black at home. You ain’t no traitor for selling out your people. You ain’t no traitor for leaving the ghetto and never looking back. You gotta let go of everything that makes you black in order to stay alive. The black man ain’t meant to live, that melanin that he got reeks of death. Watch out little black boy. Watch out little black girl. They are coming to get you.
So you gotta give away everything that makes you black. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll get to stay alive.


Honora Ankong is a 19 year old poet from Cameroon, West Africa. Majoring in English with a minor African-American Studies. She loves Art and fashion.


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