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Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" - Literature - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Entertainment / Literature / Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" (18167 Views)

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Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Chiefly(m): 10:52am On Jun 01, 2017
Selected as Noteworthy for her fearless honesty, Ezinne reminds us that writing truthfully about the world — especially today’s world — is an act of courage


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vv_OkyekBY

Ezinne Ukoha was standing on a crowded bus in Los Angeles. It was hot, standing-room only, and definitely not a place where you’d expect inspiration to strike. But Ezinne was catching feelings, so she tapped out a poem on her phone. It struck a chord, prompted responses, got people talking. In response to one reader, Ezinne wrote: “I am lucky that I have a way to release myself from the mental hijackers that temporarily threaten but are scared away by my words.”

With a defiant sense of curiosity, Ezinne unpacks all the conversations — from race to mental health to That Thing Donald Trump Said Yesterday — in a visceral, honest way. Her words touch everything from media to the Women’s March to the plight of Ryan Lochte. Just as often, they are evergreen and lyrical. Rather than “covering” topics for the sake of being topical, Ezinne does it because she knows it matters. “The key,” Ezinne explains, “is having a vested interest in what you are expressing.”


But freedom of expression is never free. Born in America but raised in Nigeria, Ezinne remembers when Dele Giwa — a journalist covering the Nigerian government — was assassinated. A mail bomb, sent to his home in Lagos. Her mother was also a writer, and it hit home. “I’ll never forget when that happened,” admits Ezinne, who — even then — aspired to one day type truth to power. “I just remembered, as young as I was, thinking I cannot express myself here.”

So she moved to the States — first for college, as one of the only black girls at a school in the Midwest — expecting The Dream. America was supposed to be the land of plenty: streets paved with Twizzlers and Oreo cookies, the Wizard of Oz handing out liberal arts degrees and 401ks. Then the LA riots happened. Ezinne began to notice segregation on campus. The Dream faded into reality. “Black America is under siege here,” Ezinne realized, “this is real — racism is real.”



Fast-forward two soul-draining corporate jobs, and Ezinne now lives in Los Angeles. She pours her opinions into her phone, laptop, or whatever device is within tapping distance. Ezinne notes, “I never wanted to be the race writer,” but she often found herself speaking up for her community. Writing about being a dark-skinned black woman, she waxes lyrical: “When the lights are out — and the white sheets soak our sweat, we shimmer just for the ones who see us glowing in competition with the moon.” Her words hit that rare bubble on the Venn diagram of internet expression — the one where personal, political, and poetic overlap.

Her stories travel quickly, igniting conversation and prompting digital head-nods. After unpacking Post-Obama Stress Disorder — and reflecting on her Nigerian-American Dream — readers reacted with a combination of recognition and gratitude. A story about lost girls of color triggered some much-needed wake-up calls. Ezinne’s words sometimes burn — or indict, or expose, or reveal — and people listen.

What keeps the ideas coming? It all goes back to 1980s Nigeria: “I’m more empowered to say what I have to say because I know what can happen when you live in a country where you can’t do that.” These stories are visceral, without pre-planned angles or hooks. Fueled by memories of censorship, Ezinne avoids anything that looks like a filter: editors, gatekeepers, even her own inner critic. “When it comes to the tone, my voice, what I’m trying to convey,” she admits, “I want it to be as naked as possible.”

In a world where so many stories feel overproduced or pre-packaged, these words are raw, immediate, and undeniably real. And they’re having an impact. “I am definitely optimistic about the future,” Ezinne reflects. “I think all of it — artists, writers, singers, whatever it is — all of us are banding together and using our skills to enlighten, and it’s making a dent. A good dent. It’s definitely encouraging young voices, and it’s waking people up.”

https://noteworthy.medium.com/ezinne-ukoha-98d48e512331

Let's recognize and celebrate one of our own cool

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by kayo80(m): 11:26am On Jun 01, 2017
Nice. I love seeing Nigerian writers get worldclass acclaim. One day very soon, i will be the one you guys will be watching like this.

Kayode Odusanya.

27 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Nobody: 11:37am On Jun 01, 2017
The Igbos, always so magnificent in eloquently telling beautiful stories. One day the sun will shine.

36 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by kayo80(m): 11:38am On Jun 01, 2017
But OP, the girl didnt say that in the video. Her words have been misconstrued. Below is the continuation of what she was really saying...She said...

" I don't write about racism because i hate white people,...

3 Likes

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by ifenes(m): 12:22pm On Jun 01, 2017
TarOrfeek:
The Igbos, always so magnificent in eloquently telling beautiful stories.
One day the sun will shine.

Must you come with tribalism all the time?

30 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Chiefly(m): 12:22pm On Jun 01, 2017
hoover420:
It's not as if white people like you before


I belive this is an expression of low self esteem

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by DivinelyBlessed: 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
kayo80:
But OP, the girl didnt say that in the video.
OP added pepper and salt

2 Likes

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by sukkot: 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
OK am not getting it. does she hate white people ?
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by TINALETC3(f): 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
Wow, dat awesome cool

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by oshe11: 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
Afonja: Ope oo! She be Flatino undecided
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by hoover420: 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
It's not as if white people like you before

3 Likes

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by BininKingdom: 12:23pm On Jun 01, 2017
hmm
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Chiefly(m): 12:24pm On Jun 01, 2017
kayo80:
But OP, the girl didnt say that in the video.

Here:

https://medium.com/@nilegirl/i-dont-write-about-racism-because-i-hate-white-people-5847164073a3
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by realestniggah: 12:24pm On Jun 01, 2017
In a few years from now racism will be a thing of the past..Considering the fact that lot of biracial people are been giving birth to
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Evablizin(f): 12:24pm On Jun 01, 2017
Ok

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Nobody: 12:25pm On Jun 01, 2017
Lovely
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Victorakats(m): 12:26pm On Jun 01, 2017
Maximum respect!
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Luvdk(f): 12:26pm On Jun 01, 2017
Well done my sister
Let's go get Biafra
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by sukkot: 12:26pm On Jun 01, 2017
ifenes:


Must you come with tribalism all the time?
grin grin very honorable of you. i like to see a detribalized igbo man. seeing people like you makes me feel guilty for replying tribalists but these tribalists are relentless mayne lol. they are like micheal jackson >>> DONT STOP TILL YOU GET ENOUGH

8 Likes

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Ne0w1zarD: 12:26pm On Jun 01, 2017
Everyone has the right to voice their opinions...
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by soberdrunk(m): 12:27pm On Jun 01, 2017
HYPOCRITE!!! You hate white people but you are in their country and enjoying all their amenities to the extent that you adopted their "accent"! angry Am tired of hearing all this "Racism" crap, if you dont like the way you are treated in 'another mans land' find your way to your 'fatherland'......!!! angry

19 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Cirphrank(m): 12:28pm On Jun 01, 2017
Seconded.
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by Nobody: 12:28pm On Jun 01, 2017
ifenes:


Must you come with tribalism all the time?
Lol...but if an Igbo man is caught committing crime you won't remember tribalism.HYPOCRITE tongue

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by cristianisraeli: 12:29pm On Jun 01, 2017
hypocrisy...you are racist as well if you hate white people.ok..if what she said is true..then shes racist as well..i hate when people live and enjoy america and still hate america..if you hate america..please come back to nigeria and come and enjoy freedom..AMERICA IS FOR THE WHITE MAN..WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT..cant find were she said she hates white people after scanning thru..am sure she experienced racism...tribalism is even worse because its your fellow country man thats doing that do you..we all know america is white country and not black

9 Likes

Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by pythonkid(m): 12:29pm On Jun 01, 2017
0
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by pythonkid(m): 12:29pm On Jun 01, 2017
kayo80:
Nice. I love seeing Nigerian writers get worldclass acclaim. One day very soon, i will be the one you guys will be watching like this.

Kayode Odusanya.

mugu
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by pythonkid(m): 12:30pm On Jun 01, 2017
TarOrfeek:
The Igbos, always so magnificent in eloquently telling beautiful stories.
One day the sun will shine.

Tribalism will surely kill you one day
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by uknownforce: 12:30pm On Jun 01, 2017
No one likes racism either,
Thanks to those who got my ebook,
I hope you guys now believe its not a scam anyway, lol, enjoy, for those yet to get theirs pls visit my signature, I might get banned if I post it here.
Re: Ezinne Ukoha: "I Don’t Write About Racism Because I Hate White People" by gozie112(m): 12:32pm On Jun 01, 2017
pls nlders help a broda ,help a brother..i scored 192 in jamb i choosed economics as first choice want to change to public admin any hope for me?skul imo state univertity..

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