My White Privilege (My Year in Poetry)

There have been so many race heavy conversations that I have been exposed to in the past months, and this is just my perspective as someone (white, female) living in Ghana.

I cannot run away from the fact that I am white, and I carry my life on this seemingly simple part of my exterior makeup that in fact means so much and greatly influences all of my experiences.

I am white.

I have it shouted in my face every day that I walk out of the door, and with all of these reminders of my privilege just by being born I still can't seem to grasp what it can best be used for.

Even when the history of my oppressive ancestors is right in front of my eyes, from the underdeveloped buildings to the underdeveloped minds in the beautiful country I am blessed enough to have the opportunity to live in I am still left wondering.

Wondering if I will ever find the right series of actions to make myself feel like I am not walking blind.

All of this awareness and exposure and I still feel like I am behind, trying to catch up to what I am and what I can do to and how to be a better version of ‘me’.

But when ‘me’ is someone who is not at all knowledgeable how to wear her racial identity both proudly and correctly… it’s not easy.

I have the privilege again of grooming young minds, but what am I grooming them for?

As one of two white teachers at an African school with a sea of black students am I even able to prepare them for what they will face when they walk out the door?

They are starting off disadvantaged while in fact I have so much privilege I don’t know what it can possibly all be used for, but I refuse to see it as a burden.

I will take it as a blessing and do my best to share it where I can.

I am looking and I am listening and I might not know an exact plan, but maybe that’s okay.

I have a lot of questions and I do a lot of thinking, internally and externally I am always convincing myself to never forget there is probably a way to be better, think deeper, take more responsibility, more action, engage.

I am white.

I am white in Ghana.

I am white in America.

I am white everywhere.

It is on me to be the best white I can be, whatever that looks like.

These are just some thoughts I have regularly.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country
Our world

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