by Valerie Higgins
Black is bad
Black is ignorant
Black is mad
Don’t raise your fist
Don’t speak broken English
Don’t raise your kids
And don’t raise your hand in class –
You won’t get called on if you do
What is Black to you?
We are raised up in a society that shuts Blackness out, castrates its pride, and rips off its wings so that Blackness falls to the ground and in between the cracks into the sewer and slums of urban development where Black people fight for bits of cheese like rats and mice and there are no exterminators in the sewers. The people fight amongst themselves until there is no community left, then the water washes away wary wanderers and without a trace redevelopment comes in and out like thieves in the night turning the remaining community members into back-stabbing vultures and because we hate the very flesh that clothes our veins, we are pacified with deceiving gifts and fake promises of fair land distribution.
So what is Black to you?
It’s about time you learn it and know it and tell it before someone else continues to profit off your ignorance.
Men, love your women
Village, raise your children
So they’ll stop killin
Tell another brother
“I love you”
He just might reply
“Brother, I love you too”
And sisters, you are delicate and fragile
Respect your childbearing temples
That creates a society
For you and me
Where Black is beautiful and sagacious
Black is magnanimous!
Children, lift your heads high
And speak the truth with unfaltering lips
Women, walk confidently with succulent hips
Black men realize your strength from within
And teach your children not to give in
Let us love ourselves so much we kiss the mirror that meets us
Hug the people that greet us
And admire the parents who teach us
We are blossoming flowers in need of sunlight trying to breathe in a forest where sunlight is taken up by overpowering trees and all we get is shade. Let us rise together, lift up one another so together we too can have some sunshine, so our children too can grow and blossom as the children of the taller trees.
This is Blackness to me.
Valerie Higgins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.