Angry Black Woman

How should I compose myself?Ebonyimage
Now that you have killed my children,
Raped my mother,
And beat me beyond recognition?
You force me to live in dilapidated housing conditions,
Where the rent is higher than a two bedroom in the suburbs
Yet you pay me less than the minimum wage,
and threaten to take that when I complain.
I am only of value to you with my tail high in the air
So I bend over and twerk some more
Even though I am tired and my feet are sore.

How should I compose myself?
Now that you have taken my loves,
And denied me of my God-given liberty?
I will put on a smile and laugh with my head pulled way back,
Like those high society girls.
Knowing that my anger is powerful enough to destroy.

I will bury this godly rage, deep down inside of me
Because I know you are afraid.
You are afraid that what you have done to me, I will do to you.
You fail to understand the power dynamics in this complex relationship of ours.

You have the military, the police, and congress behind you –
All I have is my God and my hands.
And so with my hands, I will go to my God
Who can handle my anger,
Who won’t force me to be silent
Who listens intently to my cries,
And will deal with my oppressors in time.

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Breathe

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I can’t breathe.
Your unrealistic expectations are suffocating me.
But you can’t hear my cries for help,
Over the noise of your ego.

Maybe my existence clashes with your own.
But I don’t need to die,
Just so that you can live.

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Dirt

 

dirt

Dirt.
Ending up in places you don’t belong.
Whoever thought you could be the source of so much
unhappiness?

What did I ever do to you?
Have you come to disturb my peace?
Have you come to unearth its fragile state?

Dirt.
I don’t know what to make of you.
I will clean you up lest you make a fool of me.

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Charleston

charleston

Your oppressors forced you to carry a cross,
That they fashioned with their own hands
That killed your loved ones and would eventually claim you.
They made you say, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”
As they mocked and spat upon you,
And persisted in nailing you to that beautiful, wretched dogwood.

Every word you spoke in that moment was precious,
We knew that life was leaving you.
The more you tried to grasp it, the quicker it left
You did not understand that the confession would not buy you any more time.
And that soon enough, the oppressors would succeed in their task
Guilt-free.

400 years of oppression and pain undone as you lay dying,
Suffocating under the weight of conquest, slavery, murder, and Jim Crow.
You became the scapegoat for a nation that did not want to be saved.
They only wanted absolution.

I mourned for us that day.

Give Me Faith…Like a Woman

quotes-on-inner-strength-women
Sometimes I feel like Moses, praying you would send someone else.

At times I feel like Gideon, desperately looking for a sign that you have spoken to me.
On occasion I feel like Saul, hoping to disappear into the background. 
And other times, I feel like Jonah, wishing to be overcome by a whale so that I won’t have to stand and proclaim your truth in the midst of oppression, evil, and despair.

But then I look to Deborah, who boldly stood up to face her enemies.
And I look to Ruth, who willingly left her family and her land to take hold of a promise that was greater than herself.
And to Rizpah, who brazenly protested against the Davidic empire after he killed Saul’s sons.
And to Esther, who understood her power and looked death straight in the face saying, “If I perish, I perish.”
And then I see Mary, who willingly bore the Savior of the world even though it cost her close relationships as well as her reputation.
And Anna, who refused to die until she saw the coming of the Lord in her lifetime.

Make me like these women who unequivocally understood their God given worth.
Make me like these women who knew what they were called to do and refused to allow male patriarchy, oppression, and even fear, stand in their way.
Make me like these women who were willing to stand out and against the crowd so that they could walk in your call and purpose.
It is the faith of these that I need today, so that I too can move, stand, resist, and proclaim God’s truth and justice to a world that consistently goes its own way. 

Give me faith like a woman who persistently hopes when there is very little to hope in. 
Give me faith like a woman who continues to dream of a better tomorrow when today looks so bleak. 
Give me faith like a woman who willingly defies death and destruction for the sake of her loved ones. 
Give me faith like a woman who nurtures, protects, and gives life to all of those around her.

Because our vulnerability, sensitivity, and love are not weakness. They are our strength.

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