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A Poem: It's Hard Being a Black Woman

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

I love being a black woman. I am resilient, courageous, and exuberant. Black looks good on me. I love my beautifully bronzed skin, the texture of my hair, my dark brown eyes, my curves, and my lips. I love my laughter and how expressive I am. But when I step outside of my castle into a society that is dominated by those who do not look like me, it becomes a warzone. I must fight to be in a place where some believe that I do not belong. It is hard being a black woman.

It is hard being a black mother. I teach my son and daughter right from wrong, how to respect authority, encourage them to get good grades, and even take them to church. they are blessed with a loving home where they are loved unconditionally. But when my children step outside of their fortress into the world, there is a target on their back. There is no such thing as a safe place for my brown babies. They cannot walk into a store with a bookbag because they automatically look like thieves. Oh, and it is hard to trust the authorities when you are petrified of the authorities. My children can get good grades, but does it matter? A rich family who does not look like our family will just buy a spot and knock my brown babies off the list. The church should be a sacred place, but we are not safe there either.

It is hard being a black wife, especially being married to a black man. When my husband steps out of his palace into the streets, the world is a dirty, dirty place. I hear the anger in his voice as he describes how he is pulled over by the police regularly, on his way home from a long day at work; Cops thinks that he looks suspicious. Even though he maintains his composure while in the presence of a white cop, inside he brews with anger. He has every right to be angry, but it is completely illegal for him to be angry with a cop. An angry black man to a white cop is to a dead black man who is no good to his family.

It is hard being a black woman in the workforce, especially if you are a successful black woman. The reason why I must be successful is because I must have slept with the big boss. I cannot even express myself because I am either too loud, aggressive, ghetto, have an attitude, or just plain angry. Can I change my hair without a million questions or without you wanting to touch it? I caution you, do not touch my hair.

It is hard getting an education as a black woman. I go to school, and I cannot find anyone who looks like me, so I cannot really say how I feel, because no one really understands how I feel. I want to scream, but that would be inappropriate, and I would probably get locked up or even killed. Apparently, locking up and killing black people for frivolous reasons is on someone's agenda. So, I try my best to get through the day, but some days I just want to go home. I talk to God often, but sometimes I am too impatient to wait and hear from him. What I really want is to talk to my dad; he lived through so much, and I could always trust his advice. He is no longer here; he got tired of this journey and decided to move on. The nights have been so long without him and it seems like it is dark for months at a time. When I feel like giving up, I remember the blood that runs through my veins, and I realize that he taught me everything that I need to know to survive. Suddenly, the sun starts to peek out from behind the clouds, and I am ready for whatever adversity comes my way.

It is a full time, stressful job just to be a black woman, however, being a black woman is to be beautiful, resilient, courageous, and exuberant, and I would not change anything about myself. Indeed, being a black woman is hard.


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