They used to call me ugly,

my afro puffs laced with ribbons

jet black

but in the sun, glistening

my kinky coils tight

still learning wrong from right

even though I may be pretty,

it doesnt matter cuz my skin is too dark to be mixed with white,

They used to say I’m ugly,

My big forehead, luscious lips,

and curvy frame, bodacious hips

tried to make me hate myself

as though I wasn’t spit from the womb of God,

a beautiful creation,

self hate, the first sign of degradation

the scale of beauty

is heavily unbalanced

To be black AND beautiful in America

Its not a curse but a definite challenge.

A challenge to show you are more courageous

than the cowards that beat and killed our patriarchs

and raped and tortured

our great-grand mothers,

all in one orgasmic bastardized baby’s breath

a challenge to not be obselete

to be trending on as many social media sites as you can think,

make it too hard this time to delete

who we are in this world,

our contributions,

doing things so unique,

And profound,that it astounds

even the smartest men and women alive

A challenge to be respected,

Cuz through history we’ve been subjected

to and elected

to carry the burdened seeds of the ‘Massah’

Where is our freedom,

where is our break,

The chase of the dogs, the water hoses

How many more whips on the back

with the sound of a crack-er

can we continue to take

the church bombing,

and strange fruit dangling from the tree,

burning crosses, the smell of burnt flesh

smoke as high as the eye can see

They used to call me ugly,

but then I realized it wasnt me they hated

The hair, the curves, the beauty

only angered their green eyed monster

so that is all they perpetuated

they used to call me ugly

then I saw my truth one day

looking in the mirror,

I heard a small voice say,

Your hair is of the best grade

I didnt give it to everyone

Your skin is a rich copper shade

To absorb my warming sun

Your hips are wide and spread

to bring forth the gift of life,

your shoulders broad and strong

to carry the load that most cannot

your struggle is the hardest

Because I made you able to stand

behind and support the weight

of your equally strong black man.

 

(c) 2016. LeToya L. Williams

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