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Ijeoma Umebinyuo Ijeoma Umebinyuo > Quotes

Ijeoma Umebinyuo quotes Showing 1-30 of 40

“So, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just... start.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo
“1. You must let the pain visit.
2. You must allow it teach you
3. You must not allow it overstay.

(Three routes to healing)”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to international money transfer. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“I am too full of life
to be half-loved.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“The day your education makes you roll your eyes at your father. The day your exposure makes you call your own mother uncivilized, the day your amazing foreign degrees make you cringe as your driver speaks pidgin english, may you never forget your grandfather was a farmer from Oyo state who never understood english.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“The white feminist becomes the CEO. The black feminist becomes the exiled rebel. The white feminist speaks about teaching literacy like i should thank her, hold her hand, kiss her for teaching children of darker skin. The black feminist should be grateful. The black feminist wears her natural hair, she is called ‘too rebellious’. The white feminist cuts her hair, she is brave. The white feminist gets featured on TIME. The black feminist is the fine print.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo
“Stay away
from men who peel the skin
of other women, forcing you to
wear them.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
They invite you
to come view
from your ancestors
in their museums
as their
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Do not
drown yourself in a man.

He will leave you struggling to
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“You did not carry yourself
away from pain
to become pain itself.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“So many broken children living in grown bodies mimicking adult lives.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Some women survive
by creating walls,
big walls guarding their hearts
and you say
"let them in"
she has been covered in regrets,
crawled on all fours for her salvation.
Dont curse them
for when her attacker came
there she was, loving, now
she has built her walls
brick by brick
guarding against parasites
Don't blame her
Some women are broken,
not ready to be healed,
some women are broken
not ready for love
and that's all right.
Let her find herself
Let her become her own sun
Let her”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Stop the idea that a woman’s beauty is for a man’s gaze, that you have the right to touch her. This idea that she must smile and accept unwanted approaches even when she is clearly uncomfortable. Just because you call a woman beautiful does not mean you have the right to behave like her beauty belongs to you. There are women healing from scars gotten from men who have called them beautiful yet offered them pain. The beauty of a woman is hers and hers alone. There are triggers for some women, respect this and know this. The beauty of a woman is hers and hers alone”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo
“The problem was
you kept waiting for another
to call you powerful.

You naively believed men like him
were capable of loving
women who make
crowns for thorns.

The problem was
You loved him so shamelessly,
even his lies became holy.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“You teach your daughters
how to rub poison on their skin
to teach your sons
how not to be serpents.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Healing comes in waves
and maybe today
the wave hits the rocks
and that's ok,
that's ok, darling
you are still healing
you are still healing.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada

She scanned through the magazine
for girls who looked like her
with deeper hues,
flat nose, and thick hair.

The day she turned fifteen
she scrubbed herself with bleach
while screaming for God,
whispering over and over again
"the darker the skin,
the deeper the struggle"
releasing a sigh
that made her soul shake.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“I told the priest
my god is a black woman
he poured holy water on me
and scheduled me for an exorcism”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“do not apologize for owning every piece of you they could not take, break, and claim as theirs.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“forcing manhood
on boys with skin
still made of
silk and mother's love
is cruel”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Like you, I am tired of waking up to news of death.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“The woman
carried herself
like God
worshipped her body.

Even the devil
will pray for her forgiveness
at the holy sight of her.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“I curated our love into poems
and all the pains became less
all the anger left, eventually
but, there is no denying
here on the tip of my soul
with scars still healing,
that once I loved a man.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“Naked before my eyes,
I thank whatever Gods created your
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“I tell you sometimes the moon is too weak to be full.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“there are ways to let the world kill you.
first, lose your tongue in the mouth of a
second, do not remember your softness.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“You apologize for
how you carry your
mother's loneliness
between your teeth.

You apologize for
how you carry your
father's sins
inside your blood.

You forgot
how to carry yourself
away for the histories
that threatens to break you
open, leaving you with grief
and unbearable weight of emptiness.

Tell me, apart from the sadness
thick as smog
living inside your chest
tell me the last time
you held your face
and saw love
staring back at you.

How does destroying yourself prove your worth to others?”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
“i want to write about
women who pray for me
in a language so beautiful
english will bow.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
tags: poetry
“La beauté d'une femme appartient à elle seule.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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