Sometimes to be black is to be born into slavery.
It is to be declared guilty for a crime you know nothing of. Sentenced to a
life of constant running and fighting, proving that you’re not metal or steel,
that you feel.
That you’re just as human as the person next to you – capable of pain.
Shall I cut open this vessel so you can watch it bleed, I promise I’m
deserving of this air I breathe.
Sometimes to be black is to stand before a mirror and watch a reflection
point a gun at you
and shoot without flinching.
It is to carry this feeling of hate as you sit in your body, and you don’t
completely understand why
but you have labeled yourself a failed experiment, a disease this world
needs to eradicate.
Sometimes to be black is to wonder whether your destiny is a tombstone
“murderer” “thief” “criminal” “pauper”
or just another in line to die by the hand of a white man. Or a black man,
who has forgotten we’ve already suffered enough together we’d be
Sometimes to be black is to cram your mother tongue on the way to
a village whose history you barely know of.
You fear they will call you the child engulfed by a city that is not her own.
You’re wiping your mouth of every trace
they will never know how deep your teeth sunk into the white mans’ food.
It is to dust you lips off from every language that is not your own, hoping
that this time you would connect with the old strong tree that is your
Roots thick and so deep into the ground she calls home. Her wrinkles,
A map of roads she longs to walk on
A land long gone,
a time she may never know again.
In her minds eye she holds blurry stories of the past, Full to the brim with
Sometimes to be black is to practice how you will explain to her that
freedom was only an illusion,
that it’ll take many more generations to escape the mental prisons that we
still live in.
how do you tell her that the oppressor she sang of in struggle songs has
a different face now?
How do you tell her a man who calls her mother and looks like her is
wreaking havoc in countries.
Sometimes to be black is to watch a man who shares the color of your
skin stare you down.
There are armies of him at every turn. Has nobody taught him of his
Does he not know the graves of his ancestors clang and clutter. Their
cries have birthed activists and protests.
Does he not know-
You may kill the body but the spirit lives on.
Sometimes to be black is to pray,
But still wonder why a God whose name is love would brand you with
such a mark.
You don’t know how it is
you will survive the rest of your days as an outcast. With this weighty
this cursed inheritance that keeps being passed on in this seemingly
But if only you knew.
It is only the artist that names his art.
It is only the creator who says what his creation is. You were taken from
the cloth perfection.
you were made in the image of three in one, In the likeness of God you
Every inch of you speaks of the goodness of God. You are evidence that
His hands craft beauty.
Powerful enough to absorb the sun. Eyes, a gateway to a soul rich in
Hair, a crown passed down from old like a sacred family heirloom.
A God whose name is love,
fashioned you into a being worthy of admiration
Sometimes to be black,
is to learn that you are not less than, power and greatness lie within you.
The heavens marvel at how magnificently you were formed. So should