Yea, I will allow myself to be human today. True, I am a black woman and there's no secret that I have alot to be angry about. However, I will NOT be defined by my anger because underneath it all are so many other things I feel. So, today I will sit with my disappointment. If I can be honest, I want to be angry right now especially after the events of the morning but I can't. Like, I can't get myself to be angry because I feel something else, I just don't know what it is exactly. And, that sucks. You know, feeling some kind of way and not really knowing how to put it in words but I guess that lead's me right on into my decision to share this piece from my book "Feeln Sum Type of Way". How ironic? Nonetheless, it's National Poetry Month so rather than continue to try and unpack all these emotions I am sitting with today, I'll just leave you with this poem...
ANGRY BLACK WOMAN
The hell you mean?
With the rolling of the neck
and the smacking of the lips
Every time I hear the legend of the “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN”
Are tailor-made collocations
Matter of fact adjectives
to paint the picture of a female
Tell me, when did the melanin in my skin become the backdrop for my temperament?
When will our Black men boycott these hand me down ideologies they've bought into?
Or seek to understand?
Because then they'd know I'm not ANGRY
Not at all......
I'M OFFENDED that somehow you believe that because I don't know what it is to be a black man that
That somehow my vagina allows me a privilege that excludes me from oppression when it is my vagina
that makes me a slave to my own emotions.
Tell me, have you ever been pissed on and told that it was raining?
Well, that's exactly how I feel when I'm told I'm crazy and deranged for having too many feelings
Or having the courage to love again after my love's been thrown back on my face
I'M TIRED.......Tired of being told I'm too strong as if being weak is a more desirable attribute. Truth
be told, had I folded you'd have nothing to stand on. I carried you on the back of my prayers. Raised
our sons and daughters. Fought through tears. While you took hour long lunch breaks to cemetaries and prisons.
And no, I may not have done the best job but I stood
firmly in the gap until you could regain your rightful position.
Annnnnnnnnnnd not one thank you (So, hell yea I feel some type of way)
I'M RESENTFUL because I'll never be good enough.
I'm too fat or too skinny
too loud or too quiet
too afrocentric or too european
too lazy or too driven
too needy or too independent
I'm too that or too this
No matter how I try to appease you
When you look at me
You look past my beauty
For something more EXOTIC
Then wonder why at times I'm insecure and self-conscious
I'M EXASPERATED for having to explain myself and then apologize for who I am.
I don't have the freedom of expressing my dissatisfaction without “having an attitude”
I can't challenge you as a man without “wanting to wear your pants”
I shouldn't embrace my sexuality less I be considered “loose”
I mustn't speak my mind. After all “A woman should be seen and not heard.”
No, be less than human
Chile.......You want me to be a well dressed floor mat
Just lie down and die in silence
And I bets not complain or else be “blamed”
After all, it is my fault that our men are cowards
Apparently, I gave them too many hugs
What was I thinking, to love them
When we all know too much compassion makes them soft
Had nothing to do with your absence, hunh?
I'm also responsible for the sins of our daughters
I missed the part that I was to stand guard in front of the pearly gates 24/7 to ensure she kept her legs
And If I didn't teach her how to cook...clean...or keep house
I somehow failed her as a mother
When the truth is
It was all a cry for you
But I deserve to be dogged out
To have my heart broken
I knew he was no good so I'm told “I asked for it”
So no, I can't be a victim
And no, aint nobody really trynna hear my story
No, I aint got no time to cry
I'm supposed to "Woman Up"
Because somewhere in your crazy twisted mind
Am the product of my own decision-making
I'M VEXED about that
Having to choose
And damn me
If I don't make the right decision according to you
You ever had to weigh between having a career or having children
Pursuing your dreams or falling in love
Rest or the demands that constantly pursue you
Why can't I have it all?
If I'm bitter
My choices are few
Let me get this straight
Be average or be alone
Monitor my work hours or carry the shame of being a bad parent
Put a cap on my salary or forget about ever being married
Be proactive in family planning and risk being barren
Be weak or be abandoned
Be all things
Just don't be a woman
Be anything BUT a woman
How do you escape being MAD when you're denied the right to be who you were created to be
Without being both black and angry?