"Mujer Negra" (Nancy Morejon)

"Acaso no he olvidado ni mi costa perdida, ni mi lengua ancestral./ Me dejaron aquí y aquí he vivido./ Y porque trabajé como una bestia,/ aquí volví a nacer." "Perhaps I haven't forgotten my lost coast, or my ancestral language./ They left me here and here I've lived./ And, because I worked like an animal, here I was reborn."

"Acaso no he olvidado ni mi costa perdida, ni mi lengua ancestral./ Me dejaron aquí y aquí he vivido./ Y porque trabajé como una bestia,/ aquí volví a nacer."

"Perhaps I haven't forgotten my lost coast, or my ancestral language./ They left me here and here I've lived./ And, because I worked like an animal, here I was reborn."

Cuba / 2002

Born in Cuba in 1944, Nancy Morejón is a scholar, poet, and renowned essayist. "Mujer Negra" is a poem from her collection: Mirar Adentro: Selected Poems. Morejón is the pioneer of Black woman Cuban poets She makes it a point to celebrate blackness in her work, especially as it relates to the Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean experience. She was fond of establishing a unique national Cuban identity that could evenly merge Spanish and African culture. 
As this poem demonstrates, a key theme in Morejón's work is exploring the syncretic relationship amongst Black people in the Caribbean, North America, and South America. She explores how their common origin from Africa engendered startlingly similar versions of religion, vernacular, and cuisine-despite vast geographical distance. 
By pinpointing Africa as the epicenter from which culture could dissipate and transform, Morejón builds a bridge between modern day Black people living in the African Diaspora, and African itself. Morejón writes: "here, I was reborn." This Cuban rebirth does not allude to a total death of self or culture. Instead, it is a fascinating reincarnation laced with meaningful ancestral remnants.

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