A Poem ‘For Black Girls’
Growing up, I had a host of insecurities that could all be attributed to my African heritage. I didn't like my skin tone and wanted to be lighter; I didn't like my nose and I wanted it to be smaller and more slim; I didn't like my hair and wanted it to be straighter and longer.
This is the case with most African or Caribbean girls around the world. Fortunately, I grew out of it and began to accept myself for who I am and not compare myself to girls who look nothing like me. I didn't want any other girl to feel like I did or for any other girl to feel like they were the only one who felt that way. I wrote this poem about 2 years ago, I was 18 at the time, and I had this epiphany almost.; I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought "damn ma, you fine". I fully understood just how ridiculous it was for me, as a Nigerian African lady to want to look like anything other than just that. I loved the bare face and kinky Afro that was looking back at me and the seed was planted. I wrote this poem as a self-help/confidence booster and it helped. But I thought it was selfish of me to not share it and hope it help as many of my sisters as it could. It worked and I'm glad that I did.
Here is the poem ‘For Black Girls’ performed by me, you can also see the full written poem below.
‘For Black Girls’ - a poem by Adesayo Talabi
Dark brown girl with the broader nose and thick lips, I know how you feel.
Although you've already been pushed back against the wall you feel as though the world is against you still.
Like it's a losing battle every time you fight for yourself and others like you - although you know that you shouldn't even have to.
Cocoa coloured girl with the weight of the world put on your shoulders, I hope that you know the truth.
I hope You know that your skin tone is not the issue.
I hope You know that you are not to blame for being the only creation that the Sun fought harder to keep.
I hope you know that you are the only being who looks like a galaxy when light bends and clings onto your skin.
I hope you know that although we are all humans and that we are all made of stardust, that yours is a skin composed of intergalactic glitter.
You have a fission of constellations in your eyes that have not yet been charted;
supernovas in your mind that only you can tame;
and meteoric energy that cannot be measured.
Chocolate skinned girl with so many daggers in her back
Your skin is your armour
Not your Downfall.
See it as a weapon that only you can wield-
change your name to Arthor because you command the Knights and cause thunder.
Use your skin as a shield to protect yourself from all who seek to penetrate your fortress of solitude and turn it instead into a war zone
Coffee coloured girl with hair so stubborn not even gravity can't weigh it down.
Keep your head held high - have your gaze fixed firmly above the ground in order to keep your crown straight and off the ground.
Beautiful queen, chocolate brown skin
Release the magic that you have laying dormant deep within
Melanated Mrs with an ecosystem for a soul
see the parallels of your upper and lower jaw as 2 tectonic plates that could cause an earthquake
Tear through the fragile fabric of false and fabricated lies that suffocate you and equate to your demise
Fathom and profess the self-love that only you can manifest
Focus on the fluctuations and vibrations of your reality and claim mastery over your space
You are a transverse sound wave, transcending the up and down motional sickness of this poisonous world
Your highness, Do not allow Your royalty to be overthrown
Although Your divinity has been underpinned and undermined
Do not allow yourself to bow down to colonial idolatry for you are worthy.
Yes, I understand that they seek to destroy you.
And yes, sadly I understand that some of their efforts are successful.
I understand that they have caged you up like an animal- metaphorically speaking.
I know that they have caged you up like an animal- in the Belgium Black zoos for so-called 'blacks' like you.
My queen, I understand that they have mocked and teased at your collective individuality just to claim it as their own.
I understand that they have shunned and abused your ancestry.
I understand that they have reduced you to less than what you are worth.
While they wore your skin and sell your skin to place value on theirs; the cost of melanin...
but Your royal highness our empires Must not fall.
Build walls as great as that of Benin city.
Anchor your armada upon the seas when they send tsunamis of hate in an attempt to drown you and yours.
Soul Sister, With skin more mesmerising than the aurora borealis
You're a natural wonder, don't you get it?
You have a history of both warriors and queens, don't forget it!
Think of the intricacies of your existence like your hair
A social network like the Underground railroad with the power to cause a revolution
A humming hive of African bees who have no need for internal competition
Mahogany madam damn, ma Yeahh you fine.