Campaign: CHIME FOR CHANGE

GIRLS WRITE NOW: YOU DAMN IMMIGRANT

By Nakissi Dosso

Project Description: Comments that have burned me the most were about my nationality and the motive behind my parents’ immigration. I developed this sense of a cultural obligation to stand up for immigration as a whole.

Bio: Nakissi Dosso is 17 years-old and a senior at The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. She’s been a Girls Write Now mentee for 2 years, and she calls it an experience that has enlightened her as a young women by working in her craft as well as working side by side with professionals in her field of poetry. She says of Girls Write Now: “Thanks to Girls Write Now I was able to meet my mentor Heidi Overbeck, and was even nominated for a Posse Scholarship. Girls Write Now has allowed me an outlet that I never had before. As long as I can remember writing has aided me in my growth and has always empowered me as an individual. Girls Write Now made it possible for me to greater achieve my goals as a young women as well as a young writer. My next steps include attending and graduating college. Something I could have never dreamed possible because of my parents’ immigration and our share of obstacles. Girls Write Now and The Young Women’s Leadership school have helped me rise to the occasion, as well as face and conquer adversities beyond my imagination. And for that I am proud and eternally grateful.”

***

You Damn Immigrant

“You damn immigrant
Go back to Africa and go eat with your hands!”
Go eat with my hands?
Go eat with your grandmother Ask about her mother
Ask about the blood running through her veins
Ask about the everlasting pain
Ask about the footsteps in the ocean
Footsteps that trailed a path of desperation
Deep hesitation of the new world they were forced to leap into
Ask about their life full of trials and tribulations
You nor I can ever imagine
Ask why the sweat that drips off her face and trickles down her back never found
its way
Back into her body
Ask why when the master called
You had better respond
And not only respond
You must reach deep down into your body
Down into your soul
And pull out your very existence, ball it up, place it in your palm, and respond.
And yet you call me the immigrant, me the foreigner, me the alien
But boy me and your grandmother’s mother are like sisters Brother
You ask what the worst thing someone said to me was
This has to be it because it seems that seemingly our heritage, your culture, her
family, his knowledge has skipped a generation
But boy survival is key and I am sure your great grandmother would agree
I walk away from your world of hate
So as not to taint
The legacy of my people
Give you time to educate
The rotting mind that sits on top of your head.

Opinions shared are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of views of CHIME FOR CHANGE, Gucci or any partners of the campaign.

This story is part of the CHIME FOR CHANGE – Girls Write Now partnership. Click here to learn more.

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