POETRY: “To Be A Black Woman”

Goddess Isis


By Penda Smith


To be a black woman in America:
is to not be seen as woman at all
It’s to be subjugated, confiscated, degraded
predestined to be caged.
Black girl, Black Woman, African Girl, African Woman
They won’t tell you its your time to reign
Snatched from your throne but Goddess you remain
To be a black woman in America is to  be Saartjie Baarton,
Better know as Sara Baarton, Remembered as the objectified
Sara not  human, with enlarged breast,
and hips wide enough to give birth to Africa,
She was a curving coke bottle,
a living spectacle, a foreshadowing image of a video vixen,
a twerking 13 year old,

Black women birthed children–
no, not of an ebony stone,
absent of light,
but the skin tone of a color screaming when white men,
rode her through the night,
Leaving her with caramel delights,

the type men love to ravage,

White men invaded bodies of black women,
like cannibalistic and misogynistic lions,
beasts, and savages,
To be a black Woman in America
is to not  know  where you came from,
It is to hate your skin,
to ask  God what went wrong,
to be  blind  to your own beauty,to forget your roots,
for they have all been burned with perms,
curling irons, and blow dryers.
To be a black woman in America is to be seen as less intelligent They say,I am dumb,I am stupid,
They dont care about the big words I use,
they just wanna know,
“ What that mouth do? ”  
The words I choose to verbalize,
beat against  shores of eardrums and emit colors not worthy of a
star crossed lover,
skin avidly clinging onto midnight as sun french- kisses back,

To be a black woman in America is to not be woman,
it is to be slave
to the sexual appeal of men,
It is to be stripped of dreams,
like the clothes ripped off our bodies.

To be a black woman in America,
is to be bitch before goddess,
except a female dog might be more modest.

and then he catcalled to me,
reminding me I am not woman.
hatshepsut 1
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