“Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You [white
“Some problems we share as
women, some we do not. You
[white women] fear your
children will grow up to join the
patriarchy and testify against
you; we fear our children will be
dragged from a car and shot
down in the street, and you will
turn your backs on the reasons
they are dying.”
MARCIA X SPEAKS
SELECTED IMAGES AND POETRY
The market of love
is built with the blood
of dead dismantled children
who dug for precious,
You dream of the perfect form affection
through the visage of
fancy pots and pans
new clothes that never quite smell like the sweat shop in which they were created
and the ever so necessary accessory:
the subservient boy husband.
Who throws money at you
because you have allowed his dick to be graced
with the presence of your pussy.
What will you do
with all those things
once your heart gives up pumping
for your obese body and mind?
you better buy love it runs out
get sold to the highest bidder.
Let me tell you a story of a hairy legged school kid who was
for looking like a monkey as the pretty girls threw needles in
Those were the days maaaaaaan.
While my teachers made me memorize facts and dates
from the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement
the principal set up a meeting
so someone could sit me down
and politely tell me my braids were inappropriate
and not to tell anyone I have black blood
not in this neighborhood.
So I cut my mane
my fucking crown
for the chance of freedom from my daily normality
only to be met by a group of Neo Nazi boys
who demanded I mow their lawns before I ate the curb.
At least I was kinda pretty... for a Porta Rican.
Hair is the struggle
Trials and tribulations
of fly away breaks
and constant mockery
HAHAHAHAHA Marcia got dookie braids
Hours spent sitting silently
under a hair dryer that looks like it came off the set of “Grease”
screaming wildly into my ears for
what felt like an eternity
While I silently screamed
to myself “WHY THE FUCK AM I DOING THIS?!”
It would be years of this
And every night my hair
would be wrapped
tighter than a fresh pair of panty hose
keeping the curls from
making any appearances
the truth of the nature
of my mane
ceasing to bloom
written out of my reality
like history books in primary school
as if they never existed
my hair straight
There is no pride to be found in natural beauty
too wild for school portraits
too frizzy for stability
My hair was a battle ground of colonial traditions
and revolutionary cries
I met my natural self for the first time at 19
My wet hair met the air outside for the first time at 19
My mother chewed me the fuck out for being in public with this shit at 19
First time I had my sides done up tight, my barber man paused for a moment
steady smooth humming
-Want me to get your sideburns?-No!-aight aight...lemme get dem eyebrows then...-Da fuck...NO
a hairy woman is on the loose
some brothers can’t handle
the bridge my brow builds
others, looking for a ‘stache
seeing if I have the
signature spic look
But my hair is my business
my claim to a personal Boricua Renaissance
No it is not a perm.
Thank you for the suggestion
but I am no longer into chemical relaxation
and the next female with
straight hair who pets me
might get knocked the fuck out
This is not the mark of a beast
and when you comment on its texture and style
with ‘they have’
‘I like when they’
‘how do they’
I am right here in front of you
You have a condescending tone
I don’t like when You speak as if I am invisible
how do You not realize just how rude you are...
Careless words from such an ‘evolved species’
cultural divides and misconceptions abound these days
but I take it all in stride
for this crown is heavy and not for the pale tender headed
good hair bad hair
it is all Black
it is devotion
it is love
it is a connection
?Tiene pelo lindo, po’ que no usa’ rolo?”
You have such nice hair, you should style it out...
“ Say it loud
I’m Black and I’m proud”
‘Quien se sabe, que uno no se olvide los raices, tu sabes.’*
They tried to lie to us.
Ripped from your arms
we weren’t given much
hope for survival.
Mother, we know who you truly are.
Secured deeply within memory,
the smell of mango
sweetens the buds
of hungry open mouths.
Orphans of lost cultures
dance feverishly to beats
on skins as traditional
as Yorùbá Bata
Bomba y plena
Guaguanco and Mambo
like ceremonial Taínos
Every bombazo! Every beat
pushes the currents
of our blood streams
towards the ocean
of your love
They said your flesh
shined with the signs of disease.
Darker than the soil
radiating the gold
they sought and killed over.
You were not the sexual filth
they would have us believe
This is our time
and you are no longer defined
by Websters Black:
‘Void of light’
‘condemnation or discredit’
You are Black of sun
you are my awakening
you are my joy
We name our cities after you
nutured by the tastes of
cooking savor y amor
in small kitchens
we digest your essence
and give thanks to your
existence within us
We breath in salty air
exhale all white washed pretension
On Sunday morning
we take on a journey
to the edge where
land meets water
boats greet docks
copper feet sink into sand
and we remember
*”Who knows, one never forgets their roots, you know.”
“If the very best of the
represented, I insist that ju
demands that the very best
taken. The importance of t
apparent to all; to the Black
e European is always
ustice, in all such works,
t type of Negro should be
this criticism may not be
k man it is very apparent.”
What kind are you
You’re Native American,
Says the lady as she sits with
curlers setting her hair,
looking up at me, bewildered
as to why I am slightly bewildered.
I am the native whose history has
no copy right laws protecting its existence.
I am the native whose
grandfather has lived almost 100 years
cutting sugar cane
on imperial plantations.
I am not what she wants to hear
for it would make her uncomfortable.
She is waiting for the generic response
a cheerful exclamation of the name of an
that hopefully she’s heard before
so she can maybe tell me she knows someone
who’s 18% of it.
My bloodlines cross atlas’
like the routes of Columbus
conquering under the influence like
slaying millions of the indigenous
shipping starving Negroes in boats
but this is shit we already know
sorry not sorry I don’t owe you
a polite retort.
She sits, discomforted by my lack
of emotional gusto to her curious nature.
She rolls her eyes, touches that diamond,
princess cut, with all the
lil’ extra ones on the band.
I wonder how many young lives
stained that stone before
it was bleached
cleaned off to glisten under florescent lights
for a set of big ol’ eyes
to look upon it and pay that ultimate
of a few thousand bucks.
Worth every explosive penny.
What she doesn’t seem to understand
is that I am no Minstrel Man
These people are quick to jack our cultural shit
I like your headwrap-I want thatI don’t care that I look like a whore
I want to dance Black
I want my hood pass and drop N bombs
get the validation of a people
even though I would never date one
not that I’m racist butplease
I am beyond classification, a color,
a modernized nation built on stolen land.
I am not simply an idea, whatever it
is you tell yourself what you ‘consider’ me as,
comfort food for your mind and guilt,
as if to say I am a generic brown woman
void of any complexities and experience.
My life not mine to have ownership over,
because you are afraid to admit
that I am a constant reminder
a stain on your throne called white privilege.
I am not the homogenous female experience,
I don’t simply fight for the right to wear my hair natural
and have political, social status and recognition.
I scream for the liberty of
my blood from the destiny
of this manifestation
the history untold
that lays buried under the waters,
chained and shackled to the ocean floor
and silenced by the guilt
of tryanny’s great-grandchildren.
I am a woman who is asked by a
handmaiden of white supremacist patriarchy
what type of native she is.
I am the type
who pisses out the toxins from this
racist corrupt society into a fancy cup
for good presentation for when I serve it to you
and asks you if your shit tastes expensive.