Why My History is not My Own

Why My History is not My Own

A Poem by Jhaenae Dixon

I was watching a spoken word video on youtube about my culture, and got really emotional so I wrote this.



As I begin to pour out these feelings, that I now know I have suppressed for so long

I take a minute to think how for these past years, how I could have been this wrong

So wrong and misinformed, about my own culture for that matter

And that it all started back in school when it should have mattered

We are told that our history is what defines us, shapes us, and is supposed to move us forward

I now realize through all of the lies I was told I’ve been held back, yet it’s still my fault

How little I can recall from a time before my time, but a time that at the same time allowed me this time right now

To let you know that my history is not my own, but I intend to take it back as I write these words

My own confession to you is this, I don’t know why I’m sharing but ill soon find out

Find out why in school I was taught the same thing every year, about my culture which I had learned previously

The words became so similar I knew what was to be said, before it was even spoken

This became the token, the standard, to teach the basic idea, but never anything more

So I sit here and question why they ever taught in school, about my culture, one that didn’t seem to matter

Why I had to watch a video, not even 20 minutes ago, that taught me more about my culture than I had ever known

I sit here angry that I did not know about my culture, and every great achievement that we have reached

And why in school this is not what they teach

That my culture is greater than what people can comprehend

And that in the end we are still, what people in our society call a minority

As a minority in more ways than one, I continue to type because I’ve only just begun

To realize that the world I live is not the one I had prior imagined

A world where culture is lost, and people pretend for the sake of reputation and status

A status that is lost in an instant, when that pretend mask comes off, and underneath you are still a minority

Lost within a culture that is lost within itself, even before the inception of the institution we call life we have been lost

And will continue to be so, unless we begin to realize that this is the result of our own doing

A world of false claims and pretend games

I want to move forward, and understand why in this world I don’t know who I am

And how to remember times forgotten, when people stood for more than themselves

Is it so hard to stand for someone else?

I feel as though I’ve gotten away from why this all began, so please understand why I’m writing this down

This needs to be said, so here it is

I will boldly say in this moment for so long, I have been ignorant

To life in general, for what it stood, and for what it will stand

Will I stand, I hope so

For if I don’t, who knows where I may go

So that I don’t have to find out later, I make a vow right now to be more educated

Not for the sake of my culture, but for everyone, for right now and many years to come

I hope in time we will come to understand that a person without past, is also someone without a future

I pray this will not be my case, for life is too precious for this constant waste

Of time and energy we spend on menial tasks

When we could be out in the world, taking up arms

The arms of my brothers and sisters, who I plan to stand with now until I can’t speak anymore

Speak of the injustice society had placed upon my culture, I plan to learn my history the right way

Not how we were taught in school to listen and learn, but to listen and be heard by using our own voice

One that has been silenced for too long

My History is mine, I am all that my people fought for, as I look back see the tears stained in their blood

I finally know who I am, someone with the right to life

To live through and remember their history, but to also be inspired to write their own pages in that same book

This is our book, our culture, and I will overlook the past ideals society placed on us

I know who I am, and where I will be and that is because of my history

That can’t be taken from me, so screw the norms society has of my culture

Society doesn’t know me, and I owe society nothing

I owe it to the ones who came before, to be nothing short of amazing

That is why I write this tonight, because as I do I’m starting my page, in the book of my culture

 I only hope to be half as great as the ones who paved the way

For me to able to write this for you today

© 2015 Jhaenae Dixon

Author's Note

Jhaenae Dixon
This is the first poem i've written in probably 5-6 years, so i might be a bit rusty. If anyone sees this i would appreciate constructive feedback. Thank you

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Added on November 16, 2015
Last Updated on November 16, 2015


Jhaenae Dixon
Jhaenae Dixon

I am currently a sophomore at Texas A&M University, and I've loved poetry for the longest time but got away from it. I really want to get back to it, so here i am. more..