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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
I Am You: A Book of Poetry is a beautifully penned poetry collection by Osamase Ekhator. Divided into four parts, Ekhator's poems delve into every aspect of what it means to be a black male in America. Cool Kids Table of Malcolm recounts the story of a young boy standing up for himself in front of his crush in middle school. Virgin is about innocence, and how young black kids navigate their way through racism and adversity. Know My Name is a powerful statement about being unique to oneself regardless of the consequences. Rent Free is a poetic rant about one's lost love. To The League is a nostalgic look back at growing up with their friends. Hash Tag in Heaven is a striking critique of how black victims of police brutality often find themselves relegated to becoming a caption on social media.
A poignant and thought-provoking piece of work, I Am You is a fascinating glimpse into the living experience of a young black man in America. Osamase Ekhator leaves nothing out and lays bare his soul, drawing from personal experiences to craft some mesmerizing verses that stay in your mind long after you've finished reading. Some poems are traditionally structured, while others feel more experimental and post-modern in their organization. Ekhator's poems speak of lost love, religion, and systemic racism prevalent in contemporary America, painting a vivid picture of the aspects that impact a young black man's journey through life. If you're a poetry lover who appreciates well-incorporated social commentary, you shouldn't miss out on this gem.