Black Is

by Valerie Higgins

valerie-higgins-web, Black Is, Culture Currents Black is ugly

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

Each other

And brother

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

Black man

Don’t blink


Don’t sleep


Don’t whisper


Don’t suggest


A plan

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