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  …

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 …

Nine Phases: Black Women Crying in the Bathroom

By Krystal Tang •  Take initiative - Okay here I go! I did it. Oh I did it slightly wrong...a different way? I didn’t do it right? Oops. Let me learn. Give me another chance? Teach me so I can grow.... “No”.  Gets belittled, screamed at, no empathy, no sympathy, everything you did right before gets …

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 …

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 open …

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 …

My Name Resides in Shabby Conformation

By Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  My name resides in shabby conformation I take a few steps but then Fail to find the strength to face them Spank! I feel a hand on my bum I turn to shriek but words do not come out of my mouth Words have always failed me I cover …

Fire and Mud

By Kiarran T.L Diaz • 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 …

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 …