Black Voices Matter//

Flourishing: Black strength and resilience, an anthology

Ethnic consequences

Nziza Mulisa

I woke to the sound of supposed innocence
and fled into the city,
to do my due diligence.
I left my heart in the land of no secrets,
for love is a sin
in the world of ethnic consequence.

I left my brothers and sisters,
to fight for a stake in worldly essence.
I lived a life of focus and commitment,
my race predicted my unfortunate sentence.

I read somewhere in Genesis,
that we are all created in His likeness.
I sipped my coffee in deep silence,
and fled right into the metropolis,
right into the world of ethnic consequence.


Nziza Mulisa

To the frog who slipped off the rock,
I’ll see you again someday.
To the owl who froze through the night,
I’ll see you again on another winter’s day.
To the prophetic words scribed upon New York subway cars,
I’ll console myself on another busy day.
To the souls lost in habitual confusion,
where time intertwines with fate,
and night and day chant in unison,
one day I’ll see you again.

i am not afraid of the dark

Ifeoma Onwumelu

i am not afraid of the dark.
he envelops and comforts me
with a cool embrace.
as the world sleeps, darkness’
gaunt figure is a gentle reminder
that i am not alone.

i am not afraid of the dark.
the abyss keeps secrets,
which brightness is not privy to.
they are hidden, locked away in the
vaults of my mind.

i am not afraid of the dark.
for some, midnight is the manifestation
of nightmarish visions.
but it is where my curiosity
comes to fruition.

i am not afraid of the dark,
where only my thoughts
whisper and the shadows disappear;
it feels lonely, yet teeming with tranquility
that is intermittent in daily life.

i am not afraid of the dark.
his presence emanates in any room.
emerging from fear of the unknown
and transforming to acceptance
of the isolation.

i am not afraid of the dark.
for it is only with darkness when
the light is recognized.


Nziza Mulisa

Treasure the soul that walks among the fire,
the flames that yell blatantly through the wire.
For that is the magic rarely aspired,
the tune rarely acquired,
an honour so rarely inspired.

And just as idyllic,
I gave you the key to the secrets of life.
And just as you opened the door,
in come disaster’s relics,
in come the scoffers and the critics,
a time old tale of tragedy you fail to mimic.

So treasure your soul that walks among the fire,
The flames will not scorch the ear drums you require.
And as we stretch to a life almost as idyllic,
Live and let live,
Be and let be.

Dear Martin

Nziza Mulisa

Dear Martin,
Why are you in handcuffs?
Why does he act so tough?
Uncle Sam loves to play it rough,
beat you to the soil only to laugh,
feed you to the dirt,
as if that ain’t enough.
A killer protected with a license to kill,
a burial ground with bodies to fill.
But a song rises beneath the turmoil,
spirituals scripted across the board:
“Follow the drinkin’ gourd,
for the old man is comin’ to carry you to freedom,
follow the drinkin’ gourd.”