Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dear young black girl,

Dear young black girl,
Go ahead, buy the black doll.
She may not be Barbie with the good hair,
But among the tufts of honey
And the creamy complexions of your peers,
She's the only one who looks like you.

Dear young black girl,
Know that the chemicals will burn
And the hot comb may leave a scar,
But with those straight locks you look like them.
No lye, no lye.

Know that growing up, we're all awkward
But you may still feel like Other.
When they speak of your history,
You'll crouch. You'll cringe. You'll wish it could be over.
They only show reels of shackled black bodies,
Of assassinated leaders.
They won't have a unit on Black Excellence.

Know that you are just as pretty as Sarah and Lauren
That your -iqua doesn't have the same ring,
But you can still wear the crown.


Dear young black woman,
Know your worth.
Know your place.
A place above the ceiling,
Shattering glass.
Above the murmurs of unprofessionalism,
Let your curls kink and your kinks curl.

Know that the men who look like you
May not love you,
May spew filth as Black as your skin,
As their skin,
As their momma's skin,
But may not love you.

Know that you are a threat.
They judged you for your cranial size
But now pay for your lips, your hips.

Know that you are a threat.
To intelligence, to beauty, to history.
A history that has silenced the voice,
But welcomed the hands that kept the stables clean.

Young black woman,
We commend you.
You embody grace, strength, and yes,
You are more than
You are more than
You are.

Dear young black woman,
When we say #BlackLivesMatter,
We're talking to you, too.