Dear White People by Lumba Phiri

Dear white people,

I’d like to go home now. I have seen the way that you look at me. I have heard the things say, I have lived amongst you afraid. You have worn me down, you have torn down my boarders, weakened my resolve, finished my tears. You have said your peace, spoken your truths, forced me from my house. You say I have germs, say you cannot touch me for fear you will be infected, you say I am unruly. You shout I am primitive. You, who came into my home uninvited, who stole my things, dragged my family from their chairs and made them kneel. You, who dug up my diamonds and loaded them onto your ships, who spat on me and took my food.

You say I should go home but you brought me here, home is where the heart is and mine now sits in your museums, mine now in your research labs, with your professors, with your economists who turn around and tell me my home is broken. Forgetting that you took my bricks and built your house with them, forgetting that I am tired now for having been the one to build it for you, forgetting that you are the ones that broke it.

You say I am taking your jobs, taking your space. You, who chose to fill your space with my things, who did not want to work and so made me work. Now you want to reap what I have sown for you. Now you wish to sit at the table I cleaned for you and call me dirty. But you have worn me down, you have torn my boarders and weakened my resolve.

Now I want to go home but I will be taking my things. I will be taking my copper from your pipes that I laid, I will be taking my diamonds and gold from your shops and your necks and wrists and your fingers. I will be taking my electricians and my nurses and my engineers and my doctors. I am going home now with my things that filled up your spaces, that built your walls, that made them so tall and so strong. I will be taking my bricks stained with my family’s blood.

Sincerely yours,

An Angry Black Woman

-Lumba Phiri


‘Dear White People’ was originally published in RAZZ’s 2018 issue ‘Youth’

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