Culture / all

For the Angry, Imperfect and Empowered

by share

I won’t tell you I am not afraid

Just to keep the fear to myself and never bring it to your point of privilege

Even the stereotypical strong black woman falls to pieces sometimes

Away from the scripts and fake props provided by colonialism

I was born without roots and had to find myself elsewhere

So don’t tell me I’m naive to think we can afford to be afraid,

Or hurt,

Or angry,

Or living or seen or heard.

I was born without roots and grafted onto another tree.

But we all were, in America,

United by blood, divided by words intertwined with percentages

Any color always a couple of shades from the perfect woman.


You ask what I wear and what I eat and where it comes from.

T-shirts and Hamburger Helper from my mother

Henna and paratas from my stepfather

Bowties and bean pies from the tree I was grafted onto,

Sometimes a combination thereof.

Then you ask me who I am.


I won’t tell you I’m not afraid.

I won’t try to meet you in the middle and compromise

If you care, you’ll come over here and stand by me

I will show you what is beautiful about my world and me

Sometimes what is beautiful about my world is what is horrible about me.

Sometimes what is horrible about my world is what is beautiful about me.

Sometimes the only path to change is through being afraid

Being hurt

And being angry.

Maya, 16, attends Warith Deen Mohammed High School.  She’s passionate about journalism, political satire and ice cream.




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