“They never asked the Black Mother”
I’ve sat and listened to the voices.
“They are taking away our freedom!”
“We shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of our ancestors!”
“But it was 400 years ago”
And as they argued and protested,
They never asked the Black Mother.
They never asked what it took to carry our children
To shovel down the pain
Expressed to a doctor who could not hear Too blind to look past the thickness of our skin. They never asked the Black Mother The cost The burden The pound of flesh The extensions of ourselves given Throughout history Our contributions, well kept, hidden Or lent as the supporting character to their stories A legacy of Black women Being the firsts, raising the firsts, inspiring the firsts The root of mankind’s existence They never asked the Black Mother Where our anger comes from Our pride, our hard work, our smile Cast aside so fickle as we cry to the deafness of a “colorless” society We are here And we are not going anywhere. Entombed in a foundation Forced upon us as we strongly stand with our heads held high Carrying our kin, and the world on our shoulders They never asked the Black Mother how it felt to keep standing as our men swung from trees, our children imprisoned or gunned down our sisters, dead, without mention. A resilience we didn’t ask for impelled into us by our own grief. They never asked the Black Mother How it felt to hold her babies head Wiping the tears from their eyes Painting pictures Moving mountains of ideas, Storytelling identities
Crying out, “We are history!”
Even if it goes unseen, unheard, wiped away in their education where it was never written. Expected to do more while being less. A gallery of our intricate selves on display Dissected to try to simplify our complexities There’s too much of you Do it with feeling Calm down, lest you want to be the anger we hold you by. Smile. Dance for us. Do better Be better Just not better than us They say They never asked the Black Mother What it takes to design our pride To swallow our terror why “black don’t crack” On our velvet, buttery skin Not seeing past the patchwork Built diligently with blood that propels Our fears in a continual grip The melody of our anxieties difficult to see by the untrained eye The eye that wasn’t even looking for the cracks in the first place. WE DEMAND FREEDOM! They yell WHAT ABOUT OUR RIGHTS! They exclaim IT ISN’T FAIR! They argue WHY SHOULD WE FEEL GUILTY! They cry. But they never asked the Black Mother.
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