Sunday, May 31, 2015

Amber Smithers Returns

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.  

I'll conclude with her "Mississippi Moonchile":

Ms. Roberts explains her approach to jazz here:

Below is a picture of her performing.

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