Hi, I'm Fatuma, A Poem

Hi, I'm Fatuma.
Tuma for short.
Not Fatima. Not Fatou.
Hydara means lion 🦁
and I can be fierce like one.

I'm a Black ✊🏾
Muslim ☪️
Gambian 🇬🇲
First-Generation
American 🇺🇲
Woman. ♀️

All intersecting to create
Me.
Tuma.
A Unicorn.
A Rarity.
Often the only ONE in a space.

I'm also a reader,
book lover,
words connoisseur.
Yet, book after book
never seeing myself
or girls like me
in any shape, form, or shade
within the pages,
between the covers,
in the midst of a good story.

Why? Didn't I matter?
Were my experiences not valid?
How could I form self without
a model?
To compare
and contrast.
To find something to mold myself into.
Instead I became the mold itself.

It's National Poetry Month (and National Unicorn 🦄 Day), so here's a poem of sorts to describe the driving force behind my work and how I often feel like a unicorn (and probably why I gravitate towards the idea/stories of their existence.)

I'm the farthest thing from being a poet and I scribbled this down in a few minutes but it's straight from my heart. People shouldn't have to feel invalid because they can't find themselves in the stories that they are exposed to. At Tuma's Books, I strive to make sure all identities are represented, included, valued, and loved.

With Love and Joy,
Tuma 🧕🏾🦄👩🏾‍🏫

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