I hope these five black poems strengthen your spirit as you read, for they are masterpieces crafted with love, magic, whispers and sighs.
Only a Black woman can know what has been denied other Black women. Only a Black woman can give us the words we need to weave gold and silver threads into the tapestry of our lives. “O ye daughters of Africa, arise! arise! awake!”www.kentakepage.com
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn B. Bennett
I love you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.
Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk
Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate
Keep all you have of queenliness
Forgetting that you were once were slave
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!
I am a black woman by Mari Evans
I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
in the night
I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew….I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tired fingers
seek the softness in my warrior’s beard
I am a black woman
tall as a cypress
beyond all definition still
on me and be
To Black Women by Gwendolyn Brooks
where there is cold silence
no hallelujahs, no hurrahs at all, no handshakes,
no neon red or blue, no smiling faces
Prevail across the editors of the world
who are obsessed, self-honeying and self-crowned
in the seduced arena.
It has been a
hard trudge, with fainting, bandaging and death.
There have been startling confrontations.
There have been tramplings. Tramplings
of monarchs and of other men.
But there remain large countries in your eyes.
The civil balance.
The listening secrets.
And you create and train your flowers still.
Phenomenal woman by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my fhand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
I love black poems so I’m always searching for them. You might want to recommend any other black poems you know in the comments section.
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