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The Set Up

A Poem

By Nailah RobinsonPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 1 min read
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The Set Up
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

My mother set me up

Naming me Nailah Zakiya

Then throwing Robinson on the end

As though that would somehow make it sound more American

And save me the pain

Of having to correct people every day

My mother set me up

Gifting me a name so strong

That I had no choice

But to live up to its meaning

Intelligence

Success

And just so I never forget that I am from a lineage of strong Black survivalist

Let’s tack on the name of our ancestors oppressors

Or maybe it was to remind them of what they had done

My mother set me up

Allowing me to wear the name

Of Baseball Hall of Fame

Tap Dancing through the pain

Engineering a life they never seen coming

Protesting for all my rights

Flying high while they war below

And singing along as I go

Just like all the other Robinsons we know

My mother set me up

To be the woman I’ve grown to be

And it all started

With the name she gave me

slam poetry
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About the Creator

Nailah Robinson

Author, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Cousin, Daughter In Law, Sister In Law, Friend, Grand Daughter, Niece, Teacher, and Student. I am so many things to so many people, but in the end, I'm just Nailah.

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