This evening I'd like to post my student Amber Smithers' poem "Angry Black Woman." I had an interesting time trying to find a visual for this blog post. I did not want to choose a celebrity. Neither did I want to embarrass a non-celebrity. Finally, I found the photograph above, which is actually from the 1960s African movie Black Girl about a Senegalese girl who works for a French family.
Angry Black Woman
The first time I heard the saying: "Angry Black Woman”
I was scared, even petrified to be called this.
The first time a boy called me out of my name,
He said you are an Angry Black Woman.
Yes I am angry that I was taken from my homeland.
Yes I am angry that the only bracelets I received were in the form of chains.
Yes I am angry that I was used as a remedy for sleepless nights,
Under the name of warm bellies.
Yes I am angry that the children I gave life to were ripped out of my womb, and sold.
Yes I am angry that even though I was set free,
I still do not know the meaning of freedom.
Yes I am angry that I have to carry the cross of my sex and skin color.
Yes I am angry when you tell me I am pretty for a black girl.
Yes I am angry that you tell me we can date,
But only when your family isn’t around.
Yes I am angry that my brother and sisters in the struggle tell me I am not Black Enough, or a sellout.
Yes I am angry that no one will ever love an Angry Black Woman.
I am also including a collage that Amber sent me for her previous poem.
Tonight I am going to post some music by Matana Roberts, an avant-garde saxophonist who performed at the DC Jazz Fest last year.
First is her "Exchange": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4_bMBFYZvQ
Next is "All is Written": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrHHiOOTOOA
I'll conclude with her "Mississippi Moonchile": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbNKUAy0Qik
Ms. Roberts explains her approach to jazz here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXI5pXB0_Ac
Below is a picture of her performing.