Wednesday, July 21, 2010


*Anyone who knows me very well knows that I meet more strangers in one week than most people do in a month. I rarely ever approach these strangers, they usually approach me. Not necessarily wanting anything, just wanting to talk. Here is one such encounter...

I was standing at the train station last Friday waiting on a good friend of mine to pick me up when a strange man approached me from my left side and softly said

- Hello, I just wanted to say be careful with the light.-

I was confused so I con't to listen.

-The way the light is shining you can see straight through your dress-

That day I was wearing a dress that hadn't existed prior to me tying it around my body. It is really just a pink shawl that in the winter is a pink scarf and on a bad hair day is a head wrap and on a sunny day it is a curtain and at a picnic it is a blanket and I could go on but last Friday it was a pink sundress

I told him
-Thank you. I am wearing a slip though.-

he says
- well, I guess it is just your silohuette but be careful you don't cause any car accidents-

And he walked away. He was a Muslim man so he may have actually had real concern-  : /

either way later on the conversation continued

He asks for a pen
I look in my bag and grab one (I have several)
He says -thank you-
I tell him he can keep the pen (I do have several)
He says - Oh, I am just being blessed today-
I smile

he asks if I am fine
I say -yes-
He asks if I am sure
I say -yes, I am

He asks me my name
I say -Jacquie-
he says -What's your other name?-
I say-Emefa-
he looks surprised and tries to pronounce it

He asks if it's a Muslim name
I say- No, Ghanaian-
he says he plans to go there someday

He asks if I love myself
I say -yes-
He says- are you sure?-
I say- Yes, I am-
He says- Okay, everybody doesn't though, you know?-
I nod

He tells me he likes my hair
Loves that its natural
That when he sees a black woman with natural hair
he assumes she loves herself
-It's something I typically presume- he says
He says he knows some sisters with perms that had to get hysterectomies (I am not sure if one caused the other or if there is just some correlation)

I get up to leave
he hands me his card
he says-my name is Biko-
I am several feet away from him now
I can't hear what he is saying

-I'm sorry?- I say
he raises his chin and his voice- My name is Biko-
-Oh, like Stephen-
I don't ask this. I declare it
as I turn to continue towards the car I see him begin a slow nod

-Yes, exactly- Its faint but I hear it

I smile amused at how surprised this man seems to be by the fact that I know a little history
I sit in the car and turn the card over
his name was Stephen

Stephen Biko

I felt the Universe align slightly.

-Jacqueline Naami


  1. this is my favorite one as of yet.

  2. I know that self-designed pink Summer dress. I remember when it first hit the door. Radiant you were that day though.