Kuukua and the Twisting Tablecloth

Again, this story is available for download as a PDF through this link: Kuukua and the Twisting Tablecloth. (Update: here’s the direct PDF: Kuukua and the Twisting Tablecloth) And so, as a teaser, I’m once again posting only the first few pages, and I encourage you to download. (The first story, is available here.) 

Back of Kuukua and the Twisting Tablecloth

“What’s that over there?”

“Over where?”

“On the ceiling.”

It was one of my least favorite voices from one of my least favorite humans in the whole world: Uncle Vincent. I wished I could have been surprised that my first encounter with him this year was beginning with me walking right into one of his frequently-occurring complaining sessions. Today, it seemed the subject of his complaint was something on the ceiling, and my mother was the unfortunate victim of his probably unnecessary frustration. She was the one who had picked him up for the airport; my brother Kwamz was out, and my dad and I had barely gotten back home.

“Oh,” I heard my mother reply to him. “It’s just a cobweb.”

“Ei!” Uncle Vincent exclaimed. “You people allow cobwebs to form in your house? Back home, my wife and daughters clean every centimeter of my house every Saturday morning. You will never see any spider deciding to live there without it being killed in a matter of minutes. In fact, there are no insects in my house at all. They all know better. Even the ants, eh? Even the ants! You can leave a jar of granulated sugar open in the kitchen, then leave my house and come back. The sugar will still be there, untouched. Even so, my eldest, eh? She can’t stand anything that will even give insects an invitation inside. If she saw such a thing on anyone’s ceiling, eh…”

“Yes, yes, we’ll clean the ceiling. Today noor, don’t worry,” my mother cut in, clearly trying, but expecting to fail at not seeming rude. I always wondered why she put so much effort into trying to avoid offending someone who never seemed to give a flying pesewa about the rudeness he exuded by virtue of his very existence. Uncle Vincent always made her flustered, and my normally composed mother tended to lose her social balance when dealing with him, resulting in increased fumbling and decreased patience. I was already seeing the effects, though Uncle Vincent had probably only been here for a maximum of five minutes before my dad and I had gotten home.

I, personally, was not in a very good state myself, having had just experienced one of the longest days ever with my father and grandfather, doing service things, and then having my ear talked all the way off by the latter the entire way home. It was all, as Daddy and Grandpa told me, “part of my training to be the next Ananse.”

Speaking of being an Ananse…when you find out something really cool, for example, that you are the direct heiress of a title so legendary and ingrained in cultures and childhoods like “Ananse,” you expect your life to suddenly get way cooler. Instead, you end up doing boring things like community service. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. I mean I personally don’t have a very good relationship with Kwaku Ananse stories, though a lot of people consider it just about inextricable from Ghanaian Akan culture. I, however, have been exhausted for years by Kwaku Ananse’s overuse. Whenever I hear someone begin a Kwaku Ananse story, I feel like hitting something. If he was real, he’d probably even be tired of hearing his own name. The thing is that, he kind of is real, and soon, I will be him…or her.

You see, I found out a few weeks ago that my father is “Kwaku Ananse.” That sounds absurd, because of course, Kwaku Ananse is a fictional character, and my father’s name is technically Jonathan Kweku Annan. “The Ananse,” however, is a title passed down from generation to generation, so like from the first Ananse to his/her kid, to the kid’s kid and so on, all the way down to me. My ancestry is more significant than I had known it was just weeks ago, and certain things I thought were traditions and coincidences turned out to be full of intentionality. For example, in the Annan family, every first-born child is typically born on a Wednesday, thus called a variant of Ananse’s first name, “Kwaku.” That was why it had been a stunning shock when my older brother, Jonathan Kwame Annan (AKA “Kwamz”) had been born on a Saturday. My father had suffered a terrible shock from Kwamz’ birth, fearing that the Ananse lineage had come to a strange and abrupt end…but then, two years after Kwamz’ birth, I came out, thankfully, on a Wednesday, hence my name, Kuukua. My father had watched me closely from birth, to see if I was endowed with any Ananse-like quirks: cleverness, wit, resourcefulness, creativity, and of course, a tendency towards trickery. According to him, I had all of the above. I’d shown a strange affinity for stringy things nearly from birth, whether spaghetti, bra straps or shoelaces, but they had all been mere shadows of my greater love: thread.

Thread was my secret weapon, and the manipulation of it was my superpower. It wasn’t like I was interested in becoming a seamstress or something; I was on the track to becoming an engineer. I used thread in clever ways, coming up with unlikely contraptions, most of which were designed to cause the unfortunate demise of people I didn’t like very much. According to my father, I was “a clever villain, but not a very good Ananse.” But doesn’t anyone besides me ever wonder why we keep trying to burden everyone with any above-average skill with the task of saving the world? Why do we all have to be heroes, anyway? This, at least, is one thing that the legendary Ananse and I have in common: we aren’t riddled with Superman-like moral complexes; we just want to play tricks, get what we want and go. But every time I tried bringing this up with my father, he would keep going on and on about how my morals were crooked and needed to get fixed up. Whatever.

[Click that link at the top to download the story! 🙂 ]




OTC #2 comes out this Friday. :)

Hello, hi! The spider-girl is back! No, not me, but Kuukua. She’s just a few levels cooler than me.

For readers who don’t know, I have begun a new short story series that I hope I will be consistent with until it ends, in December. I released the pilot at the end of May, called Kuukua and the Magical Markers, which I kindly ask that you read if you haven’t already. And if you hate it, you don’t need to read the sequel.

But just in case you don’t hate it, the sequel will be released, right here on Friday, June 30th, and it shall be called Kuukua and the Twisting Tablecloth.

So, see you back here, on this blog, on Friday. Please? 🙂


Do Not Let Them Kill You.

Come in with your fire

born from and for passion

And when they come to you,

tall, erect and casting a shadow,

be still

under them, and compress

your soul into your eyes.

Open them wide and stare

until it haunts them,

the hired hands who took pleasure

and stripped it of meaning,

who tampered with a gift of desire

and made it rigid methodology.

But with all the essence in your glare,

say: I will not let you kill me.

I will thrive outside of you.

I will thrive when you are outside of me.

You were never truly inside me.

And watch it make their egos crumble

how you passed through them unchanged;

how they left you untouched, undented.

Go out with the same fire

they could neither,

despite their greatest efforts,

kindle nor seize.


Reflections After My Second Semester and Stuff

Note: if you read me a lot, this post will probably be over-familiar and monotonous. I considered not releasing it at all, because I’m more tired of my own repetitiveness than you, TBH, but at this point, the things on my chest are becoming chao, and they need to clear off. Also, I planned on posting this like 3 weeks ago, and time is really passing, so I just want to get it over with.

Consider this something like a continuation of the blog post Reflections After My First Semester. It could have been frightfully long, but I had the foresight to plan little blog posts to complement this one, kind of like little prequels, so I can gloss over some things and so that this post may be more focused on the academic sides. So, in short:

For God-knows-what reason, I fell back into depression. (This is what Retrograde and the Nightmare is about.) But still, I wrote. Not nearly as much as I wanted to, but a bit. You can read more about that on She Still Wants to Live.

Part of my being generally upset and unsatisfied with life, the social aspects of feeling like I must keep up with everything and everyone, is captured as personally recollected and as observed about others in On Results.

Other aspects of my social life, reflections upon my self-ostracization and the reasons for it, are captured in The Initial Illusion of Being in the Pictures and So I Have a Problem With Nice People…

One thing I don’t think I have mentioned in any of my prequel blog posts is death. In fact, throughout the academic year, it has seemed like there has been a series of deaths, by professors and students alike, across the five-college consortium in the city, which has seriously affected the general atmosphere of just about everything. To top it off, in 2017, as I tried to keep up with Ghanaian news, it seemed to me that we were experiencing some sort of suicide epidemic, and that was highly alarming. Unfortunately, the tragedies of death, and its tolls on all who are associated with the deceased in any way, seems to just be continuing into the summer. More and more thought, these days, goes into the decision to open my email or social media. There are so many effects of the death on the living that I don’t even know how to write it into the overall experience, other than mention the helplessness grief leaves behind.

So now, the less social stuff.

As some of the readers who keep up a lot may know, 2017 has been my “excellent” year, or at least it was intended to be. The problem is that my semester has felt so, so far from excellent. It became yet another point of contention between me and the academic system, the apparent impossibility of achieving excellence. I could see that there were so many assignments, readings, so much required of me, that I could not possibly give anything the attention I believed it demanded. Achieving excellence in one thing/academic class meant that I would not have the time or energy remaining to do some other task at all. So, if I wanted to, at the very least, get by – which appeared to be my only option – I had to put the bare minimum into things, then if I had time or energy, add more to something or the other. And this really, really hurt my heart. Yes, I know it’s apparently a common experience with many college students but I struggle too hard to see why it should be so at all. Here was someone dedicated to excellence, who was half-assing her whole life. I wanted to beat someone up but usually had nothing and no one to direct my anger and frustration towards. I remember walking back and forth between buildings, trying to get myself organized to work, on the verge of tears, thinking about how “I have to choose what to fail at.” (I literally cried these words to Tronomie on the phone.) So yeah. My semester was less-than-excellent, at the very least, in effort. Also, I can’t function when I haven’t been sleeping. Also, I became coffee-dependent. Like the rest of America. HashtagDrugAddictsNoBeWeedSmokersAlone.

I started to design my own fantasy educational structure for myself. For myself, not for a country, not for a college; for myself. I feel like when things start trying too hard to suit a mass, they become disfigured. So I designed this thing for me nkoaa. It involved intense focus on one thing at a time. Baako pɛ. One-on-one sessions with a mentor that would be far more knowledgeable than me in whatever s/he was teaching me. A single “class” more like an apprenticeship session, maybe for a few hours a day, three to five days a week, no deadlines, no homework, just a love for learning and desire to acquire on my part, and a dedication to the impartation of knowledge and the cultivation of excellence on the instructor’s part. But some things are too good to be true, or to work for you, and the world is a rather cruel place, not like I didn’t know already. So, although I will keep wanting this thing so badly, I will probably resign myself for writing it into a fictional something eventually.

In other news, I have decided that the liberal arts is a scam, regardless of what I wrote in LOL so this liberal arts distin actually works, eh? And I’m not even talking about how liberal arts schools are still secretly and openly filled with people looking to continue into law/medicine/other STEM fields, and find the liberal artsiness of their general education requirements the most tiring part of school. I’m talking about how even liberal arts are not ideal for people who do not like (traditional) school or formal education. Because it’s still formal education, and people like me will continue to be unable to put our hearts in it.

I realized, somewhere between the end of first semester and the middle of second semester, that there was absolutely nothing I cared about enough to want to major in it. It was a huge struggle, to come to terms with realizing that although I was now here in a liberal arts school, where the whole world was now telling me that I could finally “follow my passion” and major in something I was actually “interested” in and all that jazz, that still, nothing appealed to me.

I decided not to be an English major for one thing because the English classes and even professors, were just too white and too academic for me, where academic equates to deep-to-the-point-of-irrelevant, and incoherent. It sounds like I’m being super harsh, but I’m trying to be honest about how I have felt.

Up until now, the only academic class I think I have really enjoyed has been my African History to 1800 class – and not just because of the actual subject matter of the course, but all the side-things I’ve discovered that would make great stories once remixed. (See “On Results” for extended thoughts on learning stuff you were not necessarily supposed to learn.) And the English class I took last semester just felt like a truckload of BS. It was on Victorian/Romantic literature and some of the poets and novelists were great, but the class and professor seemed to leech the soul out of them for me. I had intended to write about my experience in that class sometime in December, but the way it’s June and I’m still sitting on all my words, I doubt it will happen before 2020. Or ever.

So, my second semester, I took really interesting classes. I’m assuming that has been the most interesting combination of classes I will take for the rest of my college career: Astronomy, Drawing, Media Studies and James Baldwin. Going to class, any class, made me tired, and so did all homework, most of which I didn’t do well anyway.

Astronomy was cool in the beginning: foundations, history, mythology and the like. Although the reading and resource materials were excessive and overwhelming nearly from the beginning, it was intriguing because history and stories are the things I like. And then the physics started becoming more and more prominent in the course and I swear it would take me about two weeks to understand one theory. I spent far too much time in my professor’s office outside of class hours, monopolizing his time and attention, blasting him and making him explain one thing he’d spent ten minutes on in class to me three times over, for like twenty minutes each. He told me he liked that I was dedicated, at least, to figuring things out and spending so much time on them. But for one thing, I suspect he was incredibly tired of me and my frustrated, impatient, rude, slowness; and for another, I wasn’t dedicated to jack. I just wanted to barb the thing and go, but I wasn’t barbing, so I couldn’t go, because if I went without barbing, I wouldn’t be able to rest or sleep, because that’s apparently the way my cursed brain is programmed.

My Media Studies class was so full of dense, academic readings which I found neither comprehensible nor necessary, most of which I stopped even trying to go through in the first place. My James Baldwin class was full of readings (that is, even outside the original texts by Baldwin and associated writers like Richard Wright and Ta-Nehisi Coates) that I didn’t understand, and people talking about personal or sociopolitical issues about being black or queer in America that really just went over my head, or felt too academic or abstract, or felt impossible for me to connect to the designated material. Both of these classes reminded me how much I hate academia, and would rather be the artist making stuff and making news in the world than be the person teaching or formally discussing within the confines of lecture halls and academic publications, the things that people in the actual world are doing. More and more, it has felt to me like the academics are removed from the world and are looking at it from behind a two-way mirror, while on the other side, artists and other human beings carry on, unbothered about being treated like observations in an unethical social-science experiment.

So, this is how I feel about just about every field I can study in school, just because I’m studying it in school, and this is why I can’t care about anything enough to want to major in it and why I think liberal arts is a scam. It’s just taking culture and stripping it similarly of tangible relevance, making it fit the format of traditionally academic stuff. Just because we’ve mentioned Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in the class, doesn’t make the class seem relevant to what I perceive to be the real world. So if anyone wants to give me money so I can drop out, that would be appreciated.

On the whole, I became a pretty nasty person this past semester. Having conversations with me, I think, became a pain for other people, because I was just being depressive all the time and it can be super draining to be around a person like that for extended periods of time. I broke several people’s hearts too, including Ekko’s and Tronomie’s, with my intense sadness. I became even more of a room hermit than I already was, always hiding, sleeping or crying in my room and I suspect it annoyed my roommate more than a bit that it felt like I’d annexed the room, but I fear I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

I don’t have much hope for next semester. I’m tired of having hope. Either I resign myself to permanent misery within school, or I find a way to leave. I don’t expect to enjoy my Africana Studies major, to be honest – and I’m taking three more AF-related courses next sem, but I lowkey don’t care about any of them… yet. I might find that I enjoy some of them more than I thought I would once I start taking them, but that’s such a hopeful thought, you know. I also highkey am sick of being ignorant, so hopefully, I learn something through my chosen track. I feel like I’ve learnt some pretty helpful things already, even if they were small things I took from big classes.

I realized I never explained exactly why I decided to do an Africana Studies major as opposed to an English major: I figured that an AF course would actually be more helpful to my literary career on the whole, based on the kind of stuff I want to be writing. A lot of it is fantastical, and if the rest of my courses are any bit as helpful as my African History course and even my James Baldwin course, to some extent, have been with unlocking my imagination, giving me new things to think about, and considering and reconsidering African and Black non-African identities, then I’m going to have a lot of material to work with; way more than I’d have had if I’d just followed a straight-up English path. So maybe I’ll just focus on a literature discipline within the AF major. It makes more sense to me.

Highlight, though? Even though I already touched on this in The Initial Illusion of Being in the Pictures, I’m incredibly grateful for the African community in this college consortium. The Ghanaians outnumber every other African nationality, I think, which is incredibly strange for me because for once, we’ve outnumbered the Nigerians. The African women, in particular, I have found, have formed a very reliable support system and I love it and I love them.

Other memorable things that have happened:

I taught a lexivism class.

I had a revealing conversation with an Uber driver.



A good thing happened! I’ve been longlisted for one of the Writivism prizes! A big thank you to everyone who pushed me to submit, and to those who were with me as I stressed myself out about it, especially EKKO.
And thank you, Writivism, for this opportunity! 🙂


The writers of the long listed stories for the second Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Non Fiction are:
Emmanuel Yew Sekyere was born on December 14, 1989 at South Suntreso, Kumasi, Ghana. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science from KNUST. He is a talented writer, graphic designer and singer, and he is passionate about pushing agenda through creative arts to make a difference in society.

Emmanuel Yew SekyereIvana Akotowaa Ofori, mononymously known as Akotowaa, is a Ghanaian writer, blogger, poet and spoken word artist. She lives in Accra, Ghana, but is currently enrolled in college in California, USA. She hopes to use her life to promote honesty, quality and boundless imagination, particularly through lyrical art.

AkotowaaBarbara Wanjala is a Kenyan writer. Her writing appears in Safe House (Dundurn, 2016). She was shortlisted for the 2015 Haller Prize for Development Journalism. She was awarded a 2016 Investigative Journalism Fellowship with…

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Why I Can Never Love Wakanda the Way I Wish I Did

I’m not a comic book fanatic. I know very little about superheroes. Don’t ask me to choose between Marvel and DC. If you ask me who my favorite superhero is, I will say Spiderman, not necessarily because I think he’s better than everyone else, but because I’ve had more exposure to him than anyone else. Also, I’ve been a kid all my life, and as far as I’ve seen, so has he. It does not, by the way, have anything to do with my adoption of the spider as my totem. In any case, Kwaku Ananse > Spiderman by principle, because I’m a patriot to the point of stupidity when it comes to fictional stuff. Even though I’m nothing close to deeply invested in any comic book universe or franchise, I’m pretty sure there is nothing that can ever make me love Wakanda the way I wish I did.

The first I heard of Wakanda was before the release of Captain America: Civil War. Before that, I’d never heard much of any African superhero in the Marvel universe. But suddenly, there was a large number of screen names on my primarily Ghanaian Twitter timeline changed to “T’challa” or something with his name or title in it. Now, bear in mind that I was only watching Ghanaians get excited about this African prince superhero being debuted on the big screen. There are a lot of comic book franchise fanatics in Ghana, you know. It was, unfortunately, a bit difficult for me to identify with the excitement, most of which actually seemed to be centered on the sexiness of the suit, rather than race or representation. (I love Ghanaians, no sarcasm here. Because true, true, the Black Panther’s suit is hella sexy.)

The movie came out, and I thought it was good. I was upset about a few things that I tweeted, and for the sake of recollection:

  1. The love of my life, Iron Man, had nearly all of the wit and sarcasm I adored taken out of his role, and he sounded far too serious, so I didn’t enjoy him as much.
  2. These folks really, truly pronounced “Lagos” as “Lah-goes” and it stressed me all the way out.
  3. Every time I heard Chadwick Boseman’s unidentifiable, yet still recognizably “Hollywood African” accent, I cringed. I decided to let it slide because Wakanda is fictional and so doesn’t have anything I can deem as a legitimate accent. But I have a paragraph that will show up later that will come back to this point.


Now, my problem with the Black Panther isn’t even about portrayal or accuracy. I don’t have any argument about why the African hero is linked to a jungle animal or why the Black African has to have Black in his superhero name or that Wakanda is primitive and stereotypical, or complain about how the African superhero has to be royalty as opposed to an ordinary (rich) citizen of somewhere like nearly everyone else. These are probably valid things to complain about, I don’t know. I’m not involved in those. My issue with the Black Panther is that he is American. He is not African; he is American. (Treat absolutely everything I say in this blog post as my opinion, rather than straight, undebatable fact, because I don’t want to have to keep saying “in my opinion” throughout, and it’s obvious anyway.)

T’challa’s Americanness really isn’t his fault; he is fictional and so is his country. So are all the other fictional African countries in the Marvel universe. T’challa and Wakanda, though, were created by a couple of white men. I’m not saying that neither T’challa nor Wakanda are truly Black; I’m just saying that, even though they are fictional, they are part of American people’s Africa. They created it, it is theirs. He is theirs. And perhaps he isn’t white, but he’s American. Let me say something about imagination.

Here is the thing about imagination: perhaps it is limitless in one direction (outwards) and not the other, the origin. It starts from somewhere. We only make things up out of what we know or have. There are no words for things that don’t exist, for example. Once it’s named, it’s a thing, whether imaginary (dragon) or real (spider). For example, (and this is the point about the accent I said I’d get back to), Wakanda is East African? Then it is logically restrained to sound East African, even though not necessarily, since imagination is boundless. But that would be a decision to break out of a boundary, not an automatic provision. Also, Wakanda is made up of reworked versions of aspects of (African) culture that actually exist. Consult Black-culture-expert Twitter for consolidation. All I’m trying to say is, Wakanda did not pop out of a vacuum. Human beings, unlike God, are incapable of making something out of nothing, and in the case of Wakanda, being rewritten by Americans, both Black and White, that origin is not experience. And even this isn’t entirely my problem. My problem is that the things we imagine, we imagine usually to serve a purpose for ourselves. And if Americans created Wakanda, they created Wakanda for themselves, not anyone else.


I can only surmise that Black Americans were the most excited about T’challa’s debut on the big screen. Because, I think, even though the Black Panther was created by White men, he is still a Black man, and a Black superhero on the big screen is a victory, even if a minute one for Black…wait for it…Americans. T’challa is a Black American. He’s for them.

Remember all the potential reasons I gave near the beginning of this post about why one might have beef with Wakanda? Well, some people actually do have that kind of beef. Why, they ask, is a Black superhero being envisioned by white people and then served to Black people so that Black people can say, “Yay, representation?” So, what’s the solution: To have T’challa recreated and continued by a Black person, of course! Someone who empathizes, someone who identifies. Boom: Ta-Nehisi Coates. (After reading Between the World and Me, I have my own beef with this guy, but it’s largely unrelated to BP, so I won’t bring it up here.) Perfect, right? Yes, completely. A Black American author, I think, is the best person to write a Black American superhero.

Fight. Me.

Marvel is American, and everything Marvel creates is American, even if it isn’t. I highly doubt Stan Lee had African kids in mind as a target audience for his stories. Perhaps as the early critics say, Wakanda, though fictional, was primitive, stereotypical and under-researched. Cool beans. And so we thank goodness that Ta-Nehisi Coates is doing proper research about Africa before he writes his own Wakanda, no? Well…wouldn’t a white author also be capable of doing proper research? But you see, it’s not about research in the least, no matter how much we like pretending it is. It’s about identity, specifically the identity of the author. Or actor. 😊


I cannot love Wakanda the way I would like to, because it will never be part of an Africa that is for Africans. I have no doubt that it is significant and important to all the Black kids elsewhere who have just been growing up for ages without their skin colors and no memories of what could have been their cultures – several of them do not know, thanks to the slavers — on the screen. I think Wakanda is cool and it’s lit. It’s just for them and that’s absolutely okay. It doesn’t feel useful to me.

I have turned it over in my mind, whether I might be able to generate a more genuine love for Wakanda if the series were ever taken over by an African writer. I have decided that I would not. I think the Americans deserve to keep what they have created, and I’m not about to be the one who comes and wrestles it from them. Especially for the Black Americans, there has already been enough wrested from their ownership. Let them keep what they have, for goodness’ sake. I strongly believe that, especially in the case of imagination, we have our own that we can use and make… ONCE WE STOP BLOODY SHOOTING OUR CREATIVE KIDS DOWN OR FORCING THEM INTO CAREERS THEY DON’T WANT TO BE IN AND QUIT TELLING THEM THAT AFRICA ISN’T READY FOR FANTASY OR SUPERHEROES OR SCIENCE-FICTION OR…. Excuse me, I spasmed on my keyboard, but I’m back. Yes, we have our own imaginations that we can use and make. And if you don’t believe me, Google “Aburiria.” And if your argument is that Aburiria is clearly not imaginary, that it is just Kenya with magic added and its name changed, I will ask you who the hell doesn’t know that Gotham City is just New York City. Sit down.

[I think this is the paragraph that most holes can be poked in.] Now, not only is Wakanda American, it also feels fairly irrelevant to me within the Marvel universe. T’challa’s relevance, especially in the American Marvel universe, is in his interaction with international events or with American superheroes, or with Americans in general. Think well. T’challa’s first on-screen appearance was in the movie Captain…America. Ooh, what a shock. See, everyone in Wakanda be tryna mind their own damn business until suddenly some Americans are suspected as responsible for the death of their king. The Black Panther, I believe, would have continued to mind his own Wakandan business, and needn’t have had any relevance in that story, if his role didn’t rest on the premise of reacting to the Americans. I further hypothesize that T’challa would be rather irrelevant if he were contained in Wakanda, the way, for example, Batman is largely contained in Gotham. How interested would Americans be in reading a Wakandan story just about a Wakandan in Wakanda? (Usually, when I think things like this, they are accompanied by thoughts like: Have as many Americans read Purple Hibiscus as have read Americanah?)

I think every non-American superhero, whether in Marvel or DC is American, because Americans made them, and America makes them relevant. The most foreign superhero I know is the alien, Superman, and he is just lucky enough not to be required to have an accent.

Wakanda is good, Wakanda is lit, Wakanda is useful. For Americans. They have a fictional Black space to dwell in, and it is very good for them. I’m happy for African-Americans who are excited to claim their hero in his own movie on the big screen. In fact, I just watched the trailer, which got released halfway between me starting and finishing this post, and it looks LIT AF. I’m almost certain I’m going to love the movie. And certain still, that I’ll never love Wakanda the way I wish I did. Also, Chadwick Boseman is kind of hot.

As a side-note, I have been increasingly amused at African-Americans’ indignation about things about the Black Panther movie regarding Africa’s representation, which Africans ourselves are not offended in the least about. In fact, several of us are sitting down behind our computers wondering what at all people are complaining about. But that’s just by the way.

Speaking of African heroes, I made one, and if you haven’t read Kuukua and the Magical Markers, you should! Second installment should be out before June ends, by the grace of Odomankoma!


When She Is Deceased

When she is deceased

and they discover the treasure-trove

of her cardboard-bound pages,

they will marvel at the complexity of her troubled thoughts

and romanticize her state.

They will put her in books.

They will serve her in classrooms.

They will glorify her genius and say

the affliction was common

with those of her kind.

They will, as usual, neglect to inquire

as to why she was spilling it all to paper,

or if a human ear would not suffice

was not available

was not appropriate

and what was wrong with the people around her

and are people like her born or driven crazy

and what does the driving or who or why

does the voice get more agitated as the poem progresses

and stop!

They would rather analyze the punctuation of her sentences

to minute, unnecessary detail.