For a Black Girl


ago
1 min
1 531
readings
455
Runner up
Community

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

A few words for the author? Comment below. 94 comments

Take a look at our advice on commenting here

To post comments, please
Image of Manasa Lagisetty
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
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
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
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks Drew 🥺💞
Image of Ashley Anderson
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 💖
Image of Deborah Chisholm
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much!
Image of Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown · ago
You are awesome.
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you 😭
Image of Jenna Holt
Jenna Holt · ago
#MAOsisterhood supports you girl!! ❣️
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks girl! 🥰👑
Image of Olivia Nayeri
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you 🥺💖
Image of Bambi Karrotz
Image of Aria Austin
Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
A great piece of writing from a talented author ! I love it!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much! 😊 Greatly appreciated!
Image of Pelin Monroe
Pelin Monroe · ago
Wow Aria! I remember how talented you were in one of the poetry classes we took together. So, I'm not surprised about how awesome this is. I even showed it to my twin sister who happened to be sitting next to me as I read it. Very empowering!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Aw, thank Pelin! That means a lot <3 So happy you like this poem!! Thanks for showing it to your sister too :)
Image of Jasmine Bell
Jasmine Bell · ago
Very talented and an amazing read!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks Jasmine! I really appreciate it! 🥰
Image of Rosie Madison
Rosie Madison · ago
Wish I could have given more votes!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
That is so sweet! Thank you so much for voting ❤
Image of Lauren Forsythe
Lauren Forsythe · ago
You are INCREDIBLE, this is INCREDIBLE 🥺
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Ilysm 💞😭
Image of Krista Schroth
Krista Schroth · ago
So proud of you my love ❤️
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Love you Krista 💞
Image of Hannah Rhudy
Hannah Rhudy · ago
This poem is phenomenal! I am so proud to know you, Aria and grateful to have you as a role model. Definitely a winning poem in my heart.
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Hannah, you are so incredibly sweet! This means a lot. Thank you so much 🥺❤ Hope to see you soon!
Image of Aretha Williams
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks girl! ❤😊
Image of Tia Monet Flores
Tia Monet Flores · ago
Rooting for you always, Aria!!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you queen 🥺💖👑
Image of Nyla Pollard
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Tysm for voting!! 😊💖
Image of Sofia Carolina
Image of Aria Austin
Image of Josh Habib
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much Josh!
Image of Courtney Hart
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks Courtney ❤🥺 Much appreciated!
Image of Sherri McKinney
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you Sherri 🥰
Image of Sherri King-Green
Sherri King-Green · ago
Awesome!! I loved every line😘
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you!!🥺❤
Image of Dominga Murray
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks girl 🥰
Image of Chloe Allen
Chloe Allen · ago
My favorite line was “ An ignorant assumption
based on your media consumption.” Great work!!

Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you Chloe!! ❤❤
Image of Taylor Vaughn
Taylor Vaughn · ago
Really amazing work!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much! 💗
Image of Dorina Cocka
Dorina Cocka · ago
This is so beautiful, I love it
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks girl ❤ I really appreciate it!
Image of Reva Johnson
Reva Johnson · ago
I love this!!! Lowkey felt it in my soul‼️🔥✨ keep writing queen‼️
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
I'm so glad you enjoyed it and were able to connect to it. Tysm for voting! ❤
Image of Dot Kelly
Dot Kelly · ago
Love this so much! This message is amazing!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you Miss Virginia 🥺❤ That means a lot
Image of Ayana Johnson
Ayana Johnson · ago
This is awesome, Aria. 🤩
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks queen 😊 👸🏿❤
Image of Shanaya Reyes
Shanaya Reyes · ago
Love this ✨ So fabulous!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thanks girl! Greatly appreciated 🥰
Image of Vicka Heidt
Vicka Heidt · ago
Amazing and beautiful!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Aw 🥺 You are so sweet. Thanks Vicka! ❤
Image of Alexandra Stark
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
I love you too Ally ❤ Thanks for voting!!
Image of Maxwell Cloe
Maxwell Cloe · ago
So so so good omg
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you 😭❤
Image of Kyle Vasquez Schultz
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
❤ily thank youuu
Image of Josh Vance
Josh Vance · ago
This is awesome
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you! Greatly appreciated!
Image of Amber Austin
Amber Austin · ago
This is so good! Beautiful sis! I hope you win :)
Image of Aria Austin
Image of Kikelomomi Olayinka
Kikelomomi Olayinka · ago
That is an absolutely beautiful piece. Well done!
Image of Aria Austin
Aria Austin · ago
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!