We Need New Names is an incredibly powerful autobiography by NoViolet Bulawayo. She tells her story with soulful passion from fleeing her home in Zimbabwe to joining her aunt in Detroit, Michigan. At multiple points throughout the book, Bulawayo steps out of her first-person narrative and takes on the eloquent voice of her people. In these poetic pauses in the story the reader gains a full perspective of those forced fro their home in search of a better place to live for themselves and their families. Bulawayo paints an honest portrait of what it means to be a refugee. I will include a short portion of one of the poetic pauses in the story below from page 147-148 entitled “How They Left.”
“Look at them leaving in droves…Those with nothing are crossing borders. Those with strength are crossing borders. Those with ambitions are crossing borders. Those with hopes are crossing borders. Those with loss are crossing borders. Those in pain are crossing borders. Moving, running, emigrating, going, deserting, walking, quitting, flying, fleeing–to all over, to countries near and far, to countries unheard of, to countries whose names they cannot pronounce. They are leaving in droves….
They flee their own wretched land so their hunger may be pacified in foreign lands, their tears wiped away in strange lands, the wounds of their despair bandaged in faraway lands, their blistered prayers muttered in the darkness of queer lands.
Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you just cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.
Look at them leaving in droves despite knowing they will be welcomed with restraint in those strange lands because they do not belong, knowing they will have to sit on one buttock because they must not sit comfortably lest they be asked to rise and leave, knowing they will speak in dampened whispers because they must not let their voices drown those of the owners of the land, knowing they will have to walk on their toes because they must not leave footprints on the new earth lest they be mistaken for those want to claim the land as theirs. Look at them leaving in droves, arm in arm with loss and lost, look at them leaving in droves.”
Staffing Atlanta companies with the talented refugee workforce is our mission at Amplio. For the refugees coming in droves to Atlanta, we are waiting with open arms to accept them and help them find meaningful work so there stories do not end as those who feel they do not belong in a strange land. If you are a company in need of Atlanta recruiting, we desire to provide you with intelligent and loyal refugees so you can make a difference in their lives and change their stories.