I Am / amielle major

I wrote this poem during my freshmen year at Vassar College. It reflects the way I tried to deal with the dissonance between growing up in the Bahamas, in a mainly black society, and then living in America on a predominantly white liberal arts campus. I came to realize in the writing process that my life experiences were in no way original; there are, in fact, a series of black individuals, black Bahamians, who have been socialized to feel and think a certain way about themselves, race and racism. I hope there will be a time when this poem does not mirror so closely our personal realities.


Amielle Major is a sophomore at Vassar College, studying Drama and English with a minor in Education.



  1. Since its so hard to say exactly what this poem meant to me, I’ll just say: “Wow!” I can’t relate to a lot of it, because I still live in the Bahamian shell and was shielded from rascism for the most part of my life by my black mother and white father. But you’ve warned me of what my experiences abroad may be like…here I am white. There I will be black…thanks for the heads up. Your lyrics are brilliant, your mind should be treasured.

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