"Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself." Promise Ogunleye

January 27, 2020

"After Hasan Minhaj corrects Ellen on the pronunciation of his name, I remember all the times that I too made contortionist of my name

Promise Omomolawa Oluwabusayomi Ogunleye 

the names that my mother and her mother granted me with prayers and blessing for my future and I have spent my life making it small and comfortable enough to fit on other peoples tongues

At some point in primary school I began to tell my peers that I did not know how to pronounce my last name so not go through the labor it took to watch them purposely butcher it after I had attempted to teach them

As I type out this poem the red lines appear beneath my name to tell me that it is not correct, not american enough to even be written so why should it be spoken 

What is in a name?

A name that carries the labor of my ancestral line

My last name tells the stories of triumphs of my fathers land and the fathers that have come before him

Every other name are the hopes my mother and her mother have for me, prophetic names they pray each day I live up to

And I am supposed to allow you hollow my name out so you do not have to carry this weight with me?"

IG: yorubajawn
Twitter: prammise