양머리

The revolution will not be televised

— Gil Scott Heron

Being a black man in America is complicated enough as it is. Being biracial is like growing up not knowing who you should be, much less who you truly are. I’ve struggled with the concept of identity for a while. Who I am, who I should be, who I’m allowed to be in these societies. Am I allowed to be an Asian man? Am I allowed to speak Korean and visit my homeland? Am I allowed to be a black man? Am I allowed to wear my Afro proudly? Or am I, as many people from both communities put it, a “hybrid”, or a “disgrace”? The ignorance of the people that are technically my skin-folk is jarring, and sometimes quite painful. It’s not something one can easily ignore, especially when it attacks the very core of who, or what, you are. The differences in Asian and Asian-American communities, and the African-American community does little to help reconcile this issue for myself as well. I, however, have decided to take back my identity. Or, at least, I have decided to try to. That’s what inspired probably my best piece of poetry.

 Ask about my hair 
What does my hair mean? How does it get so big?
Why don't you put it in dreads?
My hair is one part Latasha Harlins one part 두순자
I bet you didn't understand that
My hair both sides of the L.A. Riots, on the roofs with
Rifles and shotguns and businesses to protect
And tired of being mistreated, beaten, abused, ignored
Looked down upon
My hair is one part hip-hop,
One part K-pop
Two parts iron shackles and chains
Three parts 4000 miles across the middle passage
Four parts unequal representation and disproportionate criminal sentencing
Five parts slanted eyes and questions of if I've ever eaten dog
All parts oppression
My hair is washed with the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr
Conditioned with Black Star and Gil Scott Heron and Tribe
Dried with Etheridge Knight and kept in a 양머리

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