Student Poet Achieves Dream with “Sepia Sapphire”

Have you ever been so passionate about something that you didn’t know what to do with yourself? If you have an undying love for a specific art or genre of music, don’t just sit on it, see how far you can go with it. One woman chose not to keep her passion as a hobby and to put it on paper.

 At the age of seven, Afrika Brown began writing poetry and used it to bond with her mother by reading it while she prepared meals. By the time she reached seventh grade, her school teachers noticed that she had such a remarkable talent that they set aside class time to allow Afrika to recite her latest works.

Afrika's childhood love of poetry only grew with time, and the senior at Kean University in Union, New Jersey has now published her first book of poetry, which is entitled Sepia Sapphire. "Sepia is a skin tone," says Afrika. "It's a dark reddish brown tint and of course a sapphire is a jewel. During the 60's and 70's brothers would call a beautiful brown woman a sapphire, so the book means beautiful black woman."

In pursuit of the "American dream", Afrika had started out as a computer science major with a minor in marketing, because she thought those fields would help her make money. While studying, she took a poetry writing class as an elective and found that her long time hobby could very well turn into a life time career. Through the nurturing of her professors and fellow classmates, Afrika realized that her true passion flowed from the ink her pen.

Many of her poems are a reflection of the various aspects of her life and the different emotions that go along with living life. One of her favorite poems in her book is entitled, "Snowstorm" which is dedicated to her husband. "'Snowstorm' is about me and my husband just cuddling under the covers." A lot of the poems in the book talk about the relationship that she and her husband of three years share. Although Afrika has not given birth to any children as of yet, she expressed that she does have one child. "He's [her husband] a child in himself. 'Man-child' is a poem dedicated to him because I am seven years his senior. He was 22 when we met and I feel that age was a transition into becoming an adult."

To learn more about Afrika Brown, check out Sepia Sapphire, currently available online at Barnes and Noble.



By Afrika Brown

I thought you were an oasis

In the middle

Of the Sahara of a failing romance

Swirling whispers of infidelities circle

Smacking across my cheeks

Boomerang strings of sand blowing in the wind

Reached out – tried to hold on

Grains blew between my fingers

Rested in my eyes, filling them with tears

My mouth felt

Like the desert my feet stepped on

I was desperate

There you were, playing your position

Cool…a fresh spring

Calmly resting in hell

I wanted to drink

Gulp you down in one sip

I was hot and thirsty

My feet moved to with quick steps

I wanted to be wet

Wanted to feel satisfied

Reached you a day after I sighted you

Breathing heavy – lips cracked – open my mouth

You were nothing more than the sand I struggled in

I thought you were an oasis

In the middle

Of the Sahara of a failing romance

You were a figment

An apparition of water

To wet my aching bones
(Reprinted with permission from the author)

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