For a Black Girl


ago
1 min
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455
Runner up
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Hey there! Thanks for checking out my work! I'm a senior Government major, English minor at William & Mary. I've always been a lover of stories, words & music. Through my poetry and songwriting, I  [+]

Image of Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
"You’re pretty for a black girl".
A qualification
for your racial equivocation,
as if my skin —
painted with melanin,
caressed by the sun —
is inferior to your blank canvas.
As if the ideal standard of beauty
was the Wednesday I came to school
primmed and prepped for picture day,
with my kinky coils straightened to a crisp —
a mirror image of seventeen magazine models.
That was the first day
you acted like you knew me.

"You’re well-mannered for a black girl".
An ignorant assumption
based on your media consumption.
My articulation
conjures an uncomfortable sensation
in the pit of your stomach.
Do you expect me to aggressively
roll my neck and put you in check?
Do you see me as a lascivious Jezebel
when I am sent to the principal’s office
because my khaki shorts fit a bit too well?
I am not quick to anger.
I will not raise my voice at your ignorance.
And no —
my confidence and passion
do not make me an angry black girl.
They make me a confident and passionate girl.

The next time I hear
"for a black girl",
I will no longer smile
with silent vexation.
Let me be clear,
do not be mistaken —
Black girls do not fit
into the box of haphazardly wrapped stereotypes
that you have so conveniently placed
in your mind’s garage.

Please leave your back-handed compliments
and yourself
at the door and remember that
I am pretty.
I am well-mannered.
I am articulate.
But not "for a black girl",
but because I am
Me.
455

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Image of Manasa Lagisetty
Manasa Lagisetty · ago
It's so good!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much!!
Image of Marwah Abuhandara
Marwah Abuhandara · ago
Congratulations love! I am so proud of you and wish you all the best in your future writing. Your work deserves to be on every published outlet and I hope to see your name all over. You did amazing!!!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
You are so kind!! Thank you so much and thank you for sharing my poem with your family! That means so much to me. Much love <3 and CONGRATS ON 1ST PLACE!
Image of Marwah Abuhandara
Marwah Abuhandara · ago
Thank youuuu <3
Image of Wanda Gilliard
Wanda Gilliard · ago
Congratulations
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you ❤
Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
Congratulations, Aria !
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you!! I'm very excited!
Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
There is good reason to be excited, Aria !
Image of Adreanne Stuckey
Adreanne Stuckey · ago
This is great!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much! And thank you for reading :)
Image of Samar Abuhandara
Samar Abuhandara · ago
Amazing!! Love this poem!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much!!
Image of Shené Owens
Shené Owens · ago
💜 You’re so AMAZING
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
YOU'RE AMAZING 💖 ily thanks for voting!
Image of Drew Stelljes
Drew Stelljes · ago
Beautiful
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks Drew 🥺💞
Image of Ashley Anderson
Ashley Anderson · ago
💚💛💚
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks Ashley!!
Image of Marwah Abuhandara
Marwah Abuhandara · ago
Love your work! Seriously such an amazing poem with a beautiful message! You did such a great job and please continue writing. You're story is powerful and one that needs to be heard everywhere! Good luck :)
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you! :) You are absolutely destroying all of us in this competition and it's well-deserved! I love your poem and its message. Good luck to you too!
Image of Marwah Abuhandara
Marwah Abuhandara · ago
Hahaha you are seriously the sweetest! I got a big family lmao and I'm gonna share your poem with a few of them because your work is breathtaking love <3
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Oh my goodness 🥺 That means a lot thank you SO much 💖