Mama Pope said, “Damn shame being a Black woman…”
I just I just want to know dear world
And the inky black universe
how is this all black women’s fault?
us being the mothers of creation
the kings of our on making
the bread winners
Those who save the superhero
Without hairs out of place
—how is all of this our fault
As if we hold keys to
all the gates, opening all nine realms of hell —how is this all our fault?
How is this our fault
When we we have hidden bruises
Past due bills and degrees
masked egos sexed you back into power wipe the crust out of your eyes and put a pep back in your step—
how is this our fault?
Was it not good enough
for us to lighten our skin
Change eye color
Hush when your spoke
Cum when you stroked
straighten our hair
to hold on for ten years promises
and for 20 year old lies
was it not good enough for us to sacrifice all that we were
for all that you will become
only for you to wipe your feet
on us to tell us we are not enough!
To curse the daughters of your own making, abandon the sons who never
Know the word father
to leave us in beds and alone
to have us only remember
the whisper of:
if you just try hard enough and choose better this will stop happening to you.
How is this our fault?
how how is this our fault when we are the most educated group in the entire nation!
How was this our fault
when were thrown the fire,
how is it our fault that we did not die?
From the ancestral to the modern
to these continuous
dinosaurs of white supremacy that we continue to fight
And survive bullets by night
the world seems to be remarked
and dumbfounded when the rock that we have pushed up the mountain goes down the other side— and crushes all those in our path!
Tell us—we’re sitting up now
straight hair and Afros
beaded or braided or
slick down and Bob cut or shaved bald like the Dora Milaje, mouths painted
Red with our mothers blood in us
And empowered by the fathers
Who knew we would meet boy-men
we are listening because we got to hear this.
Again how is this our fault?
-JBHarris, April 2022