Tariro Chinondo (2007-)

When day came we went to school.

Beginning to develop our knowledge.

But between class was when we started to realize,

We were divided.

With your fingers in our braids, you ask,

“Is your hair fake? And how do you wash it?”

At the end of the day, we learned to embrace discomfort.


We graduated primary and with that, the queries faded;

Nevertheless, the silence did not always bring peace.

Never spotting a teacher who looked like us,

Never learning about our motherland.

But when we did, all was associated with slavery.

The ignorance of our comrades began to show,

And our education further ignited it.


Approaching the end of our school years,

We formed clubs.

We examined and carried forth plans,

But our advancements were ineffective.

Now here we stand pleading to you all,

And yet you still ask if we are comfortable.

It will take long until we are comfortable.


Bio: Tariro Chinondo is a member of the Black Student Union and a DEIJ-CEESA student representative at the Vienna International School. She is a student advocate on matters of inclusion and justice. This poem reflects experiences that Black students face within the international school ecosystem.