We self-determine

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we respond, 

"Your problem not mine"

 

He speaks English so impeccably

It's the envy of all the UK

However he is urged to change his name

Because it's Shaquandre

 

However he ignores such intimations

And proudly keeps his nae

For while an English name would give him more perks

He knows that it will reinforce Eurocentrism and shame

 

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we respond, 

"Your problem, not mine"

 

For too many years

She smiled to hide her rage

Because she did not want "Angry Black Woman"

Tied to her name

 

Eventually she realizes

That anger is a normal emotion

And it should not be stifled 

To avoid the stereotyping commotion

 

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we respond, 

"Your problem, not mine"

 

He wears an Ankh

And from U.S.A. to Africa can trace his family tree

However to many's chagrin

He does not seek a queen

 

No matter how much procreation is preached

His response is the same

He cannot really love a woman

Because he loves Jermaine

 

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we say, 

"Your problem, not mine."

 

Her clothing is not revealing

But one can see her form

From black to white

She receives scorn

 

However she knows

It's just society's blame game

In order to hide its racial hatred

It tries to instill shame

 

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we say, 

"Your problem not mine."

 

Respectability politics

Will not longer be accepted

Because we know of its interna damage

And history of rendering any blacks rejected

 

James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Pauli Murray

To name a few

When we say Black Lives Matter

All do

 

We self-determine

We self-define

If you do not approve, then we respond,

"Your problem, not mine."

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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