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Poem, photo, and illustration by Kyra Rogers

VOX Teen Poetry: “Dear Black Girl”

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Dear Black Girl

The skin that you were put in at birth was made from the purest chocolate and honey in the world

Don’t let them tell you otherwise 

Don’t let them say that you’re too dark 

Your skin is rich and fine like wine and when you’re 50 looking 29 

They’ll be 60 looking 70

Dear Black Girl

Your hair is like a halo atop your head

Don’t damage it to fit in just because Becky said 

“omg how did you get it to stand like that”

“omg it’s like a lamb”

“omg it’s so nappy”

Black Girl 

when Samantha reaches up to pat your hair 

You look up at her and tell her you are not an animal

They wouldn’t know the difference because we were beaten like we were

Black Girl

Please embrace your kinks and curls 

Your hair is your crown 

Wear it like you’re proud 

Dear Black Girl

When they misspell your name please correct them

Your name should flow like water and not crunch like ice

When they get you confused with another black girl 

Give that black girl “the look”

All black people know “the look”

Please correct them

It may seem like it’s no big deal but the name you were assigned at birth says as much about you as your personality

If it’s unique let it be unique and say it proudly with every word you speak 

Dear Black Girl

If they say nigga please don’t slap them

If not resorting to physical violence restrain yourself

I know it might be hard because it’s not their word to use 

Some people always want what they can’t have

Educate don’t hate 

If they say it again you might have an excuse to slap

Dear Black Girl

No one deserves to call you too black or too white

You are you 

It’s ok to code switch 

If you need to switch to AAVE to take a break from speaking proper english all day then do it

Give yourself time to be yourself and never lose who you are in fear of becoming too anything

You can go from 

“wassup with y’all” to

“hello sir how are you doing today”

and no one has the right to judge you for it 

Dear Black Girl

Your culture is something to be proud of

Don’t be afraid to rep where you came from 

Cause i’ll be saying “peace up. a town down.” until i die

White people will wear box braids and dashikis and see nothing wrong 

But as soon as we utter one lyric of “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” 

They claim cultural appropriation 

Sarah, you don’t know shit about appropriating culture as long as your people still dress in blackface

Now who’s tryna be who?

“This is a culture that we’ve been forced to create because the first one was robbed from us and now it feels like we’re at risk of losing it again.” 

Dear Black Girl

Love yourself 

Because this world doesn’t

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