"Black Girl Magic"

black

girl

magic

its suppression in this world is tragic

the land of the free

home of the enslaved

how can two polar opposites be the exact same?

the land where half of my ancestors dehumanized the other half 

who built this country

is this why i can never seem to truly fit in?

because freedom and injustice 

live within 

me

yet i am defined by my

black

girl

magic

one drop of negro blood and i am seen as an entire demographic

and not because that’s how i choose to identify

it’s because of what you see with your eyes

and what your brain chooses to categorize me as

not afraid to wear my hair different one day

and someone feels the need to say

that i am the whitest black girl they have ever met

or maybe others feel the need to put their hands 

all over my head

i will say it once and i’ll say it again

No, you may not touch my hair.

folks are so used to the high pedestal 

they have placed themselves on

they feel so entitled to everything within their sight

You are not entitled to me.

to any

one

yes, my curls are beautiful

worn straight or in spirals

but you look with your eyes

not with your hands

and that is simply borderline respect.

respect. 

something that i don’t see enough

talking to a “friend” they ask me for the “pass”

well ask for a nigga pass

from the slave who heard that degrading name

every time they were whipped on the back 

until their skin peeled off

as their wives, daughters, and sisters were raped 

as they worked from sunrise to well past sunset 

hardly time for rest 

only to wake up to the same things 

all over again 

don’t you dare ask me for the “pass”

it doesn’t exist

exist

imagine existing in this bubble

where i already have to prove that yes 

i am capable 

the preconceived notion you receive when you see the color of my skin 

and the fact that i am a woman

might whisper “she can’t”

she can’t succeed in that math class because she lacks 

“algebra fundamentals”

well, that’s not what the A and teacher comment on my last report card says

never ever tell Halle Madison Mae Huffman

that she can’t do something

because yes i will 

and yes i did

it’s that black girl magic that continues to sit deep inside me

it gives me the courage to have my voice be heard

monday through friday i might not be liked

or respected by everyone on campus

but my place among this student body is well deserved 

i am here because of my kick-ass mom

who to many may seem far too strict

but she’s simply not willing to take the risk

of letting me do the same things my white friends do

one quick phone call for you

is my mother trying to figure out sufficient funds for bail money

one quick procedure for you

is my mother telling me i need to keep it

because the time to figure out what to do is before you choose to go in unprotected

she breaks her back so i can come to a school

and see one other black girl

to see about 10 other people that look anything like me

but it’s the opportunities 

to be who i want to be

to do what i came into this world to do

that are fostered here

loving other people

that is the secret weapon

of my black girl magic

love.

not everyone comes from the same background as you

but being able to sympathize with people 

and love them for who they are

is where we should start

recognize your privilege

white people

recognize that this world was made for the white man to succeed

and then use that power

not to discriminate 

not to to be disrespectful

not to make an insensitive comment or “joke”

but to be an ally to those that may not look like you

or think like you

ten years from now

i hope you carry these words with you

and continue to recognize the power

of this 

black 

girl 

magic

 

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
Me

Comments

Annette M Velasquez

Powerful and honest. This is an important and eloquently stated message. Your poem has the qualities to win the "slam for civil rights," or any slam, for that matter. Please look at my " Loving the Skin" poem and " always the odd one" I think you'll enjoy them and please give feedback.

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