See, society has this pre-conceived idea
about how a black person
especially a black girl
I was told once that
Black girls can’t be smart.
Black girls can’t speak properly.
Black girls always got an attitude.
Black girls don’t like poetry anymore.
I was lied to once.
There are a million things I need
But everyone telling me who I am
because I like the way Sonnet 130 explains love
because I like figurative language
because I like the way poetry rolls off my tongue
is not one of them
I guess it’s because we can’t like what we’re made of.
This is why there are little girls who want the doll
that looks nothing like them.
This is why pictures with #TeamDarkSkin, #TeamLightSkin
We’ve either begun to hate ourselves again or
maybe we never even stopped.
If it’s true that black girls don’t like poetry anymore…
then what am I doing here?
Because I’m a black girl and I like poetry
and not just spoken word and slam,
but Dickinson and Angelou and Hughes and Poe
and e.e cummings and especially my man Shakespeare—
I am 100% sure there's nobody who knows how
to turn Kanye West's Yeezus into a sonnet like me
or make sense of Kendrick Lamar and Hamlet's dramatic soliloquies.
I want y'all to know, ever since iambic pentameter
just like Drake said, nothing was the same.
Black girls are poetry.
Which is why we identify with rap music.
Each and every single one of us is a poem reborn
We are a beautiful string of words written on the back of a permission slip.
Saying yes, you are allowed to be whoever you wish to be.
Do you know to be stripped of the only identity you know?
To be told that black girls don’t like poetry?
When that is all you know this world to be?
Our poems are trapped in the heart of expression.
All trapped in the mind of a poet
that can’t afford to treated as ignorant.