Black Woman: A Poem

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Black Woman: A Poem

Categories: 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, Advocacy, Blog

This poem is part of our 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge during Week 4: Community Impact – Hate, Discrimination, and Healing. It is written by Breanna McGowan, who performs under the name Quiet Storm. She is the local Dayton “poetry mom,” co-organizer of Dayton Poetry Slam, and author of the book, Tornado Warnings and Still Winds. This summer, she will be touring the U.S. to share her poetry with various audiences in hopes of creating bridges for the gaps our society still experiences.

Black Woman
By Quiet Storm

Black woman, yes you.
Do you hear your confused tune?

The one that starts low then vibrates it’s way up your ear lobes. Give off sound waves of your ancestors’ hymns.

Solitude is what you hear through these harsh winds. These conflicting title waves of today’s hatred fueled sins.

Black woman, yes you.
Can you feel your back straining, as you hold up the lost souls of your black men. As you stand first defense, first responder to protecting your people, your kin.

Hold your tongue as the weight bares down. Legs shaking now, but you still push, you still stand up.

Black woman, yes you.
Is it contrary that you seldomly seek refuge.

That your silent tears hit the pillow through the night before they hit God’s ear. That you still kneel on the ground to pray. Even if the rice is cutting your shins. You pray through the pain. For it gives you peace.

Black woman, yes you.
Fist balled up, knuckles ready to bleed. Woman you have been fighting your whole life. Bringing your bare knuckles to every gun fight. Yet you still walk out alive. Black woman you are a fighter, a survivor. You set the stage in every situation that comes your way. A queen that sits on her throne through another day.

Black woman, yes you.

You that “go get me a switch, or I’mma give you something to cry about” raised. Snapped green beans and lectures on the porch was your first class of the day.

Because you were raised by the scarred backs of women that came before you.
So now you have no choice but to follow in their footsteps.

Bring love from cement, take hard earth and make things grow. Plant seeds into your seeds as they follow.

Take your time black woman, it’s time to slow down. Watch what you have created bloom now.

Black woman, yes you.
Don’t ever forget where you came from. Hold on to your heritage like it’s all you’ve got left. In the end we only remember the memories we’ve kept.