Abused Womb of the Margin

Anonymous •  Trigger warning: Language of abuse the tireless calls from an institution disguised as a safe haven  claiming to nurse and aid the winded, bewildered, and aimless  claiming to heal and protect the ignored, silenced, and hurt  he calls out to me endlessly  he wants me to pour my soul into his seed  one … Continue reading Abused Womb of the Margin

On the Ancestral Blessing of a Union

By Yemi Miller-Tonnet •   During the Civil War,Harriet Tubman spent some monthsin South Carolina’s low countryworking as a nurse for the Union armyand a laundress in a local wash house.Harriett mended wounds,changed gauze, scrubbed linens,and hung shirts on clothespins.She worked and waiteduntil orders from the north camefor her to form a spy ring.She was to … Continue reading On the Ancestral Blessing of a Union

Pain Poem

By Alexandra Brown •  What is the difference between absence and loss? How would you articulate the ‘loss of loss’ and the ‘absence of absence’? What if, in your attempt to articulate, they both become synonymous? What if, you are in a state of sorrow and lament for something that was never your’s, or something … Continue reading Pain Poem

Sista, Be Free

By Tanya Barnett •  Come close so you can hear me.You’ve endured for too long. The time has finally come to shed the shackles. No more shrinking.No more hiding.No more playing safe.No more accepting abuse.No more lying to ourselves.No more ignoring the pain. It’s time for you to be free to…..Bask, Believe, Breathe, CryDance, Desire, … Continue reading Sista, Be Free

Reconciliation

By Tanya Barnett •  How do I reconcile my blackness in the 21st century? Do I yell at the mountain tops that I am BLACK or do I act like my blackness doesn’t matter so I don’t offend white people? How do I reconcile my blackness in the 21st century? Do I check my coworker … Continue reading Reconciliation

My Blackness

By Tanya Barnett •  Dear world, no longer will I shrink away from my blackness in an attempt to make you finally love me. Oh you had me fooled. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. You made me think if I permed my hair you would love me. You made me think if I wore a size 2 you … Continue reading My Blackness

Church Sestina

By Addison Walton • CW: This content contains descriptions of murder and white supremacy. Come to church in your Sunday best!Let your mama press your hair.Your daddy polished your good shoes.New and black and shiny.He did it with love. Your mama kisses your head and puts in a pink ribbon.Your tiny arms clutch your bible. … Continue reading Church Sestina

Gone.

By Raina Cornish •  Gone.You left.I stayed.I waited.But you, you left. I was ready to give up my name for you But you left. You came back.I let you in. Let your words poison my mind.“I love you.”“I need you.”“Only you.” I let you do what you wanted to me because I was scared to … Continue reading Gone.

Hermosos Tontos

By Raina Cornish •  Woman- noun ; an adult human female.  Human. But to man we are property. Coware. What women do when a man raises a fist to her.. If a woman is too strong, she wants to be a MAN.  If a woman doesn’t listen to her husband or boyfriend she is trying … Continue reading Hermosos Tontos

What I Want to See for the Future

By Amaya Madarang •  Every older generation says, “Remember how we thought there’d be flying cars in the future.”  And everyone laughs and nods their heads.  “Look at us now!” the adults reply, mockingly.  Again, everyone laughs.  But, really what’s funny is that people still think that there will be flying cars in the future.  … Continue reading What I Want to See for the Future

Be Silence

By Nchedochukwu Ezeokoli •  undisturbed the air rang clearly with the loudness of nothingness lingering ever so gently  filling the empty spaces between the spaces filled solely with atoms of life she spoke to me disrupting the stillness mind raced in fetching images of trauma past lived repressing images of trauma presently living your Father, … Continue reading Be Silence

Token

By Summar McGee • I am a Black girl at a PWI.  So I get a lot of kudos.  The people congratulate me for “making it” out of poverty Through an “education”  and to as close to whiteness as I’ll ever be.  Summar McGee is a Black woman, student & writer from Mississippi.

Water

By Sahana Kapumba • Water H20 A transparent liquid that is drunk and swam in for recreational purposes Water 60% percent of my black body Water If we already have so much why do we need more? Why do I need to overfill myself with this colorless liquid If its been in my body for … Continue reading Water

Riding Rising Waters

By Jourdan Lobban • It was endless  The sea of self-doubt Rejection Beating me  With its ruthless water  Every chance it got  It was brutal How it told me  Over and Over “You’re bad, Worthless.  Rude, Evil,  A sinner who needs saving.” All the while  I hung my head low Taking blow  After blow  Hoping … Continue reading Riding Rising Waters

Broken Tree

By Kiarran T. L. Diaz •  I will never know your happiness History only saved your pain Sleeping Ancestor, When we meet Will I represent your dreams, Or your shame? Ancestors tell me Where you sleep Where does your soul lie Do you laugh? Or do you weep Is there a home for you That … Continue reading Broken Tree

Spots on the Rug

By Joshua Redd •  The House. The Red One. Right there on Macdonough. You can leave me on the corner, I’m fine. I live at the address, but the house isn’t mine. The rules of ownership are entitled to the mother, the sister, the dogs, the roaches, the mice, the boyfriend, the nephew. My own … Continue reading Spots on the Rug

Birmingham Burning

By Ayana Graham •  I’ve foreseen spirits, visitations of death, fire eating off sheeted breath, Sometimes I see the outline of God’s back turned to me Wretched hands stroke the lynch knot and bear the karma of the lost little girls There was no good outcome, I was born as wood, a lit match splitting … Continue reading Birmingham Burning

What My Mama Told Me

By Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  What my mama told me My mama told me to grow up And be beautiful like our sunset, But what she forgot to tell me  Was to pack a gun for the world I was growing into had men with no scruples  And no respect for women  So before … Continue reading What My Mama Told Me

Fire and Mud

Dirt on my tongue  Each time I swallow my protests  It travels past my throat  And down my esophagus  Each time I walk into a room And see stolen work caged and imprisoned Dirt in my mouth  As I listen to them speak  About those that look just like me  A pat on my shoulder  … Continue reading Fire and Mud

Black Music

By Baletica Genous •  The nerve of white men To read my email To read my email To read my email And still misspell my name He giggles and shrugs and says “its just so different” He’s never heard it before “Just where does that name come from?” “How does one get it out?” It … Continue reading Black Music

Stage 2

By Nelle Jones •  angry black girls clenching desks with tight fists holding their breath a breeze passing through their hair the pale hand of yet another ghost angry black girls the blacker the berry, sweet blood from biting lips holding one’s tongue angry black girls sitting on stoops braiding hair summer was made for … Continue reading Stage 2

Two Poets

By Quincy Evans •  Excuse me, I’d like to re-introduce myself. I’m a good time. A misunderstanding. A plea and a red flag all at once. I’ll forever be that boy who gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colors. You slip into my mind so quietly, –like air in a window I … Continue reading Two Poets

Mightier

By Tene’sha Crews •  “The pen is mightier than the sword” A sword that has grown from hate and drawn blood, Blood spilled onto books and the hearts of families Has sunk deeper into human veins than into a land’s mud. The girl is mightier than the hate, The hate that they paint in hope … Continue reading Mightier

Perpetual Home

By Tene’sha Crews •  I was once told, that my body is my only perpetual home One that I rightfully and eternally supposedly own. A home in which I paint the walls whatever colors I want And plant whatever flowers I choose to display up front. My home where I express myself, My life choices, … Continue reading Perpetual Home

My Raw Thoughts On Depression

By Kenidra R. Woods •  Depression. You and I were once close. And it’s so ironic that you were the one who hurt me the most. And I don’t mean to boast, but I’m doing better without you. There’s nothing you could say or do to bring me back to a place of misery. ‘Cause … Continue reading My Raw Thoughts On Depression

Trigger Warning

By Quincy Evans •  At 13, she is already held responsible if her shoulders are showing in school, she is sent home on behalf of the boys who are distracted. She grew up like this. By 16, it’s supposedly her fault if she wore the wrong skirt, drank too much, made a mistake. What did … Continue reading Trigger Warning

An Affirmation to Black Girls

By NaVosha Copeland •  Hello, mother, Hello, friend, Hello, sister, How you been? I love you so much. You’re so strong and so kind and so sweet. Your melanin mixes so well with your bright white teeth. Your high cheekbones And chocolate brown skin Greets me, warms me, and welcomes me To a world of … Continue reading An Affirmation to Black Girls

It Has Happened Again

By Tene’sha Crews •  “It has happened again.” That thought echoes through my mind once more. I close my eyes and I pray. I pray for the family friend that the sun no longer gets to warm. I pray for the mother whose child she can no longer hold in her arms. I pray for … Continue reading It Has Happened Again

Don’t Forget

By Tene’sha Crews •  In the distance burning in the dark I see the flashing red and blue lights And then I think about the color of this paper and how all it’s missing is white And then I think about my country and if our choice of a leader was wrong or right I … Continue reading Don’t Forget

A Poem About Hair

By Tene’sha Crews •  Had Her Hate for Her Hair been cultivated or passed down? Passed through words like “nappy” and “needing of a perm Ignoring the monthly visits of that scalp stinging burn Like first it was grandmother, then mother, now it’s your turn To gradually detest your natural strands is what you’ll learn … Continue reading A Poem About Hair

A Love Letter to Black Girls

By Jourdan Lobban •  February 2nd was Groundhog Day, although one little critter can’t possibly change the swirling halo of frigid cold we must all endure (insert sad face). It’s also one of the few precious days making up Black History Month. For 28 days (29 in leap years) the United States sets aside mandated … Continue reading A Love Letter to Black Girls

An Open Essay About My Experiences with the White Moderate

By Stephanie Younger •  In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride towards freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler, or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted … Continue reading An Open Essay About My Experiences with the White Moderate

My Confessions

By Kolby Whack •  I am a nonconformist. Semi conservative liberalist, Broken binary Gender role hating, Masculinity equals femininity generalist non institutionalized Institutionalized soldier 2 + 2 = 5 if you give me the paper Time is an illusion, and atoms create evens But Eve is Adam, her rib is his rib, And ribs are … Continue reading My Confessions

Teach Black Children to Swim

By Zakkiyya Anderson •  Teach our Black children to swim Take them to the ocean and show them life has no bounds Teach Black children to read and to explore more than the outside of their broken door Give them tangible hope Dreams that aren’t just riddled in fables Show them they are able Give them stethoscopes and hammers and swimming pools and … Continue reading Teach Black Children to Swim

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