Poem

Stereotypes of a Misunderstood Black Woman.

Poem

Stereotypes of a Misunderstood Black Woman.

You shifted in your seat when I walked up to the stage. 

 

Do I make you feel uncomfortable?

 

Does my accent have too many colors?

Does my face express ugly truths that you’ve been hiding for too long?

Does my tongue tell stories that aren’t good enough for your ears?

 

Are my pieces too-politically charged?

Does my outfit disappoint your mainstream sense of feminine fashion?

 

Did you label me yet?

 

Because I can see you roll your blind eyes like

“here. she. goes. again”

and I don’t know which “she” of me offends you the most

the liberal, the afro-centric, the feminist?

Did you find a category for me, yet?

 

I think you found three.

 

 Angry. Black. Woman.

 

You low-key fear running into me.

You fear a discussion with me will get heated

 And I’ll become… Angry

Black women have been silenced for years

With throats stuffed with obedience

And dignity sliced with disrespect

 

I reject being treated like a damn object – so don’t dare put me in a box 

 

But if you must define me,

Then know that as an “angry black woman”

patriarchy has placed me in the bottom of the pyramid

With the other minorities, 

crushed under the weight of racist misogyny 

 

So, yes. I am angry.  

 

I am angry 

Because colonization has left me nothing from my ancient civilization, but a book that calls it “primitive”

A history of a whole nation, whited-out, and I have the white man to thank  

 

I am angry

Because I can’t straighten my hair without wondering If it is internalized self-hate or if I just want a different style 

 

I am angry

Because I’m too black to be pretty, but black enough to be “exotic”

And I’m sick of women telling me to “clean up” my skin tone,

Yes. my skin is 27 shades of brown, but there is nothing “dirty” about that 

 

I am angry

Because every time I talk about how much I love my stretch marks

Disgust stretch over their eyes, and their smiles shrink into shriveled knitted frowns

Like I’m supposed to be ashamed.

Like 10 years of self-hate weren’t enough suffering for me to go through.

Like loving my own, real, body is a bigger problem than having pop culture to hate everything that makes us look real.  

 

I am angry

Because the strength of my arguments are questioned when someone out there says I don’t “need” to be angry

Like the value of my emotions have to be validated by a third-party before they are deemed viable 

 

I am Angry 

I am Black 

and I am a Woman 

 

So judge me as you may, 

categorize me to other-ize me, if it makes you feel better 

But my blackness will haunt you, 

my womanhood is my strength 

and my anger is here to stay

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