Of National and Racial Archetypes
By Rose Ure Mezu
It is often thought and people
That tribes / races are this or
For they share a mode of being
Makes them who they are:
They say that the Ibo from Naze
And the Hebrew from Nazareth
Are vaulting, they grasp and
Spread out the world over and clan
For these attributes, they are
baited and hated;
The Yoruba like the Latin peoples
love to live life
Free and easy, rock and tango and
spray the dough
Loath to suffer, dread to fight
but will plot to destroy
And in time turn the traitor
leaving you in the lurch.
With them you speak but please
withhold your trust!
Across the Niger/Nile, Northern
lords are Oligarchs
In lands where nobles rule and
serfs blindly follow;
Obedient to Allah, serfs pose no
threat to rulers who
Use them to sow chaos across the
Then the English and Germanic
tribes, rumors go,
Are hard, tricky and wherever they
go, they sow
Seeds of discord and play up
differences to divide,
Conquer and instigate mayhem,
leaving in their wake
Ruins in what ever land they are
driven to vacate
For they so love to roam around
and discover places.
All this I hear it said often!
But I ponder at the truth of the
color of the races –
Black, White and In-Between, Brown
That White is pink and lacks the
That gives hue to strength and
To compensate, acts lordly
When all they achieve is a matter
Stuck as they are to an unfriendly
Of snow, killer storms, quakes and
The black – ah the potent hue!
Close to earth, they claim
progenitor to races;
Strong of hue, swift of
limbs and dense of reason?
Born to obey, serve and grovel
around the pink race
Who swear that in truth the Maker
was no fool
To have made them kin to the
Who then would stomach apey insurrection
In love and war, against law and
Over-reaching, darkies claim liberté
But can man and beast be bonded in
Then among the dark-hued brothers
is the Great Divide:
The New World Blacks disdain the
Come from across the oceans again
to shove them aside
Shamming Princedom, Chiefdom, and
To disdain the brothers and dazzle
the bronzed sisters
Only to toss the latter aside and
heap on the wives –
Those polygamous cavemen – these native S-O-Bs!
To the lordly Africans, the
princes of the New World -
the Akattas – are still the eels, slippery as in
days of yore
For which the ancient forebears
gladly shipped them off;
Hard to trust, they would sell off
light-giving Orient Africa.
Loath to work, they desire and
trot after the ease-filled life
Footloose and running, loving and
leaving the sisters
They will not stay to bear the
burden of home or heart.
These people! One is alone
who thinks to be one with them.
All this I hear said often!
Yet, of prejudice and archetypes,
Things may not be the worse for
Since out of these biased-against
groups, giants have
Arisen to give the lie to national
and racial archetypes:
Did not Christ the Jew come to
serve, suffer and save?
Owning all yet hoarding neither
throne, land, nor staff.
Did Azikiwe, Ironsi not forsake
Igbo kins to kiss their foes?
Did not Yoruba Soyinka for Igbo
dignity go to prison in '67?
Did Muslim Murtala not die
for Nigeria's Christian masses?
Did Will Wilberforce not lead
Whites in a fight to free Blacks?
Did John Brown not give up his
life to make nonsense of color?
Did Beecher Stowe not write up a
storm that burst into a big war,
Using Uncle Tom, Old Negro who in
time became the New Negro?
And Malcolm and MLK, Jr., did they
not earn death out of love?
Did Du Bois not champion the cause
of Black and Yellow alike,
And loving the ancient sable soil,
choose to sleep underneath
Its sun-kissed soil? while "Back-to-Africa"
Garvey never did go;
But then as Garvey sailed sadly
away, rays from Orient Africa's
Tropical Suns warmed his heart
with love and more besides?
Du Bois, Walker, Morrison, Baraka,
Mezu and others yet unborn
Are empowered to urge their people
to Work, Peace and Oneness!
So, Brothers and Sisters –
Black, White and In-Between,
Yellow and Red,
Sink the prejudices that build up these mountains that separate
That becloud the vision and make
the planet hell for all.
Truly a world of wonder there
would be if only we can
Let go of Labels, Prejudices and