Dear Black Girls
By Shayla Avery
There was a girl I knew who hated going out in the summertime because she didn’t want to get darker
She hated the color of her skin because no one else in the room looked like her
That girl now loves her chocolate melanin complexion and how it amazes others when she walks into a room
There was a girl I knew who was at the top of her class but never spoke up because she didn’t want to be considered “that” black girl
Now that girl speaks her mind without hesitation
There was a girl I knew who only wore extensions to school because she felt like her natural hair was too ugly, nappy, and “distracting” to be styled
Now that girl embraces all the kinks and curls that form her crown
There was a girl I knew who hated her body because it didn’t capture what society thought was beautiful
This girl now has learned that beauty is within, to be beautiful you must look beyond the surface
There was a girl I knew who felt like the world was against her, she was suffocating in her own skin
This girl now knows her power
She knows that her skin matters
Her voice matters
She is beautiful inside and out
This girl is me
By Christian Johnson
Silenced to reason yet I have a voice
Rights ignored but did I have a choice
Retaliation becomes terrorism to the eyes of the supreme
Bias becomes justified no man or woman leaves clean
Emotional scars carried by each generation
Leaving a gaping hole in the community led by discrimination
The minute we seek pride to hope for freedom
They won’t let us forget how they mourn our extinction
As time goes by our patience grows thin
Lives lost “accidentally” over and again
We seek survival every humans basic instinct
Yet we’re alienated by the mutations born to our genetic link
The dying must stop no matter what the price
At some point we had nothing to lose we’ve gained too much to not put up a fight
Looking at the bigger picture the so called supreme timeline grows thin
Remember who came first, we won’t make this mistake again
The Soul Of Black Music
Heavy beats, bright lights
Boombox on the street
Not music, but life.
A whole heart
Poured out into the mic.
The air thick with smoke,
The music beams light.
Lyrics sweet like honey,
A soft breeze on a summer night.
Fingers dancing on piano keys,
Smooth sax, swift trumpet
Played to dance.
Sequined dresses, velvet suits,
Swing, tap, prance.
Born from struggle,
The music of chance.
The most beautiful sadness.
Sweet notes sung by the strings of a guitar,
The glamor of watching gloom bloom from afar.
Bittersweet, like cinnamon
Are the notes stolen from stars.
By Kamaria Armstead
Get one the ground
I see a gun pointed at my heart
I’m scared, i lay flat on the ground
I feel a force on my back that feels like a knee
And I can’t breath
I try not to think about that,
and I keep my breath at steady pace
The Weight on my back get heavier
I scream, “I can’t breath!”
But it ignores my plea and I feel his knees go deeper in my spine, I hear people shouting, “get off of her!”
They yell back at them to walk away
In my head I’m hoping they don’t
If this is how I go out I need people to see
I want them to feel the same pain I did as they watch the video. I see running and someone pushes the knee off my back. I see another cop but he is black and is yelling at the dude, I’m crying. I hear him yell, “that is a child, what is wrong with you?” They couldn’t breathe.
The police already have a bad rep, and you made it worse. He comes to me and takes the handcuffs off me and stumbles, too scared to talk to anyone. I feel arms around as a shield and I cry harder. Most situations like that you don’t walk away. You're carried away in a bodybag or in critical condition. The arms hold me as I cry and the cop that had me pinned on the ground tries to walk up to me, but the group of people get in front of me. I cry harder not wanting to go through that pain again, I look in the eyes… you put me in all of this pain for no reason, you want me to fear you and I do. I look down at my feet, push the arms off me and say without that gun and badge you are no one.
Who I Am
By Olivia Forney
As I wake up in the morning
I do my kinky curly hair
As I look at my paleness
I wonder if my blackness is really there.
The idea of choosing a side makes my
brain sink down rapidly like a submarine.
So I note deep inside
This is who I am meant to be.
Although I am not dark-skinned, brown, tan, or “black”
My blackness shines through in other ways to make up for that lack.
I love who I am
And also what I’m mixed with.
The challenges of my ancestors
The struggles of my people
I like to think they left a piece of that within me
I have the skills to constantly demand respect.
To know that my “place” in society can change if I work for it.
Or if I fight for it.
Therefore, I am a fighter.
I love who I am
And who I am associated with
A giant black community joined together by struggles and experiences.
At the end of the day,
My skin tone doesn’t matter.
I am black and proud
I am black and beautiful
I am black and significant
I am black and important.
Therefore, this is who I am.