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122 pages, Kindle Edition
First published September 4, 2015
I want to think that God smiles
when a black woman is brave enough
to love herself.
Little boys with sunshine in their giggles are being
mistaken for men
Because their bodies were built like those
If no one has called you brave lately, I will.
You are fighting sadness with everything you've
got and for that you are mighty.
gather up all the hurt in your body
and tell it how you weren't meant for broken.
I am dripping in melanin and honey.So, as you can see, Upile's style is very similar to the style of other insta poets. And again, whilst I find some of these sentences and the feelings they evoke beautiful, I still have a hard time seeing them as poetry. Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly embrace the notion that poetry can have different forms, but for me, personally, poetry has to evoke images, has to play with language, has to use the aesthetic qualities of language to get its meaning across. And therefore, I have a hard time with insta poetry, and its very straight-forward messages and ordinary sentences. Nonetheless, I loved the theme of this collection. Self-love is such an important thing, especially for Black womxn who are told by society from a young age that they are not desirable, that they are not beautiful, that they don't fit the ideal. So, it's definitely a topic I would like to read more about. I'm thinking of picking up The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.
I am black without apology.
people who only wish to stifle your bloom,
do not belong in your garden.
to the girl at battle with her body,
I pray you find a place to lay your weapons down.
to the men who act like they were the first to ever
love a dark girl,
I will say
'I have loved this skin since before you breathed on it'
here we are,
black and in love with ourselves
and they spite us for it.
you are the answer to a prayer I was too proud
Little boys with sunshine in their gigglesThe study also involved 264 mostly white, female undergraduate students from large public U.S. universities. In one experiment, students rated the innocence of people ranging from infants to 25-year-olds who were black, white or an unidentified race. The students judged children up to 9 years old as equally innocent regardless of race, but considered black children significantly less innocent than other children in every age group beginning at age 10, the researchers found.
are being mistaken for men
because their bodies were built like those of
(for the moon-high baby boys of color who are
still growing into their warrior bones. You are little.
You are loved.)
this sacred blacknessSo, these poems were incredibly powerful to me and made my whole reading experience worth-while. Again, her style is not really for me but if you thought that some of these poems were beautiful, get your hands on this collection ASAP. It's so important to support young Black poets. They're the future. <3
this blessed blackness!
has become a sentence
had become offense
so when black blood bleeds it is minor
it is commonplace
it is expected.
so when black blood bleeds.
a system doesn't cry.
too many of us are oceans with lovers that never learnt to swim.
I am a country you shouldn’t go near. I am at war with myself.
I don’t want to be less of me if that’s the only way I’ll get more of you.
it is when we don’t believe we are enough for ourselves that we start looking for people to drown in.