Becoming My Own Woman, Without the Faith of My Childhood
I had always found a gathering of women sharing their stories and wisdom an effective way to touch the divine.
Oh God, please help us with the bills.Oh God, please change the heart of that lady in my workplace because she is terrible to me. Oh God, help our family back home.Oh God . . . How will I get free of all this?
Oh God, if you get me out of this town and away from what I think it means to be an African, I’ll make a success of myself. Oh God, please free me from my parents—I love them, but they don’t see me. Oh God, I’m not sure of my purpose, but I know I’m not here to do
Oh God, thank you for my good health. Oh God, please protect my family. Oh God, help me find a stable job.
How do I leave?You can’t,But you can listen to me so I can tell you what to do next time.
Will you attend?The group wants to see you.
I have to work, I have my period, I’m going to Mombasano
Itoro Bassey is a writer and cultural worker with publications in Slice, YES! Magazine, Rethinking Schools, The Independent and Black Youth Project. She is currently working on her first novel entitled, The Soil Below, a story following four generations of Nigerian women grappling with generational trauma, migration, and change as they weave themselves into the American fabric. Her gender pronouns are her and she. Follow her on Instagram (@itoropaula) for up to date information about her latest projects.
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“I saw that God I’d been so determined to believe in not as an absolute, but as a construct that couldn’t take a joke.”