ATLANTA, GA - MAY 29: Protesters burn a flag outside the CNN Center on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. AAVE is not a thing. We are Africans, not Americans.

AAVE is not a thing.

neither is African amerikkkan
no more than our slave tongue
is supposed to be adopted by the slave owner
capitalism got us tryna achieve our way to freedom
neo-colonialism is deadly business
for no price at all you too can be the killer
this is a guess who game gone wrong
whack-a-mole rebellions swinging at puppet enemies
more smoke for the lumpen than the wannabe capitalist
every monster got a leash or a home to retreat
poverty is chained to its political reality
which is chained to the owners of land
which are chained to their own wallets

maybe it is broken english
maybe english needs more breaking
we should wear our sharp edges proudly
maybe the only good u.s. flag is a burnt one
why we keep tryna prove ourselves to a parasite
why we keep showin parasite teeth marks on passports
why we aint threw this mufucka off our backs
or up out whatever resemblance of community we got
or off into the treacherous waves it came from
you can’t institution your way out of oppression
you can’t reason with serrated teeth

or let’s say we finally done did it
made the country say our names with the right accent
and now there’s an AAVE studies department
and poor people get paperwork to teach the classes
and poor people can’t afford to attend the classes
and New Afrikans start copyrighting slang by neighborhood
and the cia got a new dialect
and surveillance is the new Black
and Black is the old separation
and this is a country now
and Afrikans are finally amerikkkan
and Africa is still fighting for its life


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Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performer, and skilled living room dancer from Akron, Ohio. His work has appeared in New Ohio Review, The Adroit Journal, Crab Creek Review, and others. Darius believes in the dissolution of empire and the total liberation of all Afrikans by any means available.