My Best Friend Wants to Change the World
by Maisha Euzebe (Dominica)
Audio: "My Best Friend Wants to Change the World" read by Maisha Euzebe
My best friend and I always talk about how we're going to change the world. We joke about taking over and making it in our own image. But we know we can't do that. So instead we talk about backpacking across Europe and Asia to learn new cultures and adopt new languages. We talk about going to Africa to reconnect with those ancestors who were stolen away so long ago. So we could listen to the songs the land would sing so we could feel some connection to those roots. We were uprooted and forced to adapt to a world that was unnecessarily cruel. Where we get called names and our cultures get torn from us. And people may pretend like it's not cruel anymore and that we're accepted but that's false. Because there are always those who feel like we have no right to be among them. I tell my best friend that I would never want to be one of those who gets treated in such ways.
We call ourselves lucky because we grew up on this island where no one could be cruel to us because of our race. Because we all look the same. We all talk the same. We all sound the same even when we're saying different things. We are the same. We are all the same. My best friend told me that we should pray for them. The ones who suffer at the hands of people who think they don't deserve to walk among them. Because one day soon we are going to walk among them. And we'll no longer be safe on our little island where we look and talk like everyone else. Where we won't spend most of our time under the sun and all the songs we hear won't be native to us. That calypso and bouyon won't be there when we walk the streets and we won't know these people because we didn't go to school with them. So I put a pencil to a paper and I wrote everything out. Plans to make the world accept us for who we are. Because this is our world too and no one gets to tell us how to live. So I have my words and she has her song and when we travel the world we'll ensure that people hear us. Because my best friend has plans to change the world to ensure that we're all okay. She wants us all safe and I will do everything in my power to ensure that her wish is granted. I'll take my best friend across the oceans and help her walk the streets to ensure that we're all equal because sometimes all you can do is wait when you're two broke teenage girls on a tiny island who just want to change the world.