Poem: Beautiful Blackness


Jo-Annah Richards

Release Date

Thursday, June 4, 2020


Elegant and elevated, I am proud and confident

Regal and exalted in my presence 
But society asserts I should be ashamed and apologetic

Because in my blackness there’s no beauty, no dynamic


I once wondered if I was really a Black Queen

When with distain my black skin is seen
They perpetuate that the attributes of a black woman cannot embody beauty

But once intricately and artificially placed on a foreign body it is awed at in glory


Ridiculed and shamed for my big lips

Stared at for my provocative wide hips

But my lips on her porcelain face is praised as plumpness

And her surgical enhanced hips adored for its curvaceousness


To think that our majestic roundness they told us to shamefully carry behind

But silicone pumped into their derriere festers on their mind

Daily Black girls scrub and erase their brown skin

Leaving their bodies bruised and paper thin


White women lay still burning brown for hours

Enviously coating their body in lotions to get what is already ours

Our history is mostly hidden and our culture we were told to ignore

Only accepting what we are told, while our traditions are being sold in stores 


Weaving our uncontrollably hair in canerows, our beautiful curls

Our traditions are now the latest trend, shared link, hair tutorials

Stealing our music, our sound for that they better work, work, work

Duplicating our rhythm, our whine, it is not a twerk


But what is truly ours cannot be stolen

But our truth, it seems we have forgotten
Our unique and beautiful blackness
Caramel, mocha and mahogany greatness


Too afraid to be displayed in negative stereotypes of blackness, mute

We need to discover our own power, our essence, our truth

We are the descendants of Kings and Queens, royalty

The blood of warriors and survivors flows through our veins, fluidly


Do you feel it, can you hear

Like the bass of a drum in your ear

Beating through me, through you, through all of us

Is pure, undeniable beautiful blackness, trust

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