MEME

Quite a while back, Sylvia of the http://antiessentialistspeaksup.wordpress.com

 gave me the challenge of the meme of the great imperative of my life. Since I always take every opportunity that comes my way to speak up for black women, I have decided to compose and dedicate a poem to the beauty of black women and how we have endured and triumphed against odds that have sought to destroy us. My great imperative meme is to always give every black woman a kind word; to always do what I can to make life a better world for every black woman I encounter; to try to be the best daughter a mother can have; to always give positive encouragement to all black women. We black women have suffered and survived through so much in this country, in this world. So many people think of us as the unshakeable, invincible unfeeling women who do not need love, a comforting hand, or a shoulder to cry on. We black women have suffered at the hands of white men, white women, men of other races, and even at the hands of black men. So many in the world have sought to tear us down and destroy us. So many black women have bought into the lie that we do not have needs that must be met, that we have no right to stop and take care of ourselves, after we have taken care of and given our all to so many others. But we do need to allow ourselves to love and to be gentle with ourselves. As black women we feel that we must do it all, but, we should give ourselves the right to be vulnerable. To cry. To accept that we are not indefatigable. We often feel that we cannot allow ourselves the right to slow down and take care of us. But, we must. And our humanity must never be disallowed nor treated insignificantly.

I will not pass on my meme to anyone else, but, will instead ask that those who read my post leave their comments on what their imperative meme is.

With this little poem, I hope I have done  justice to all the black women who have come before me, the black women of the present, and the black women of the future. Hopefully, I have given them the honor they are so rightly due.

 Never give up, never give out.

You are loved.

You are valued.

You have worth.

You have a right TO BE in this world.

So without further ado, here is my MEME.

BLACK WOMEN, OPEN A WINDOW ONTO YOUR SOULS

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

Let forth the terrors that have held you captive for far too long;

Let forth the fear that has crippled and contained your dreams;

Let forth the sorrow that has caused rivers of tears to well up inside you;

Let forth the rage that has consumed you and has torn you apart

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

Let forth the despair that has said you are less than all you can be;

Let forth the anguish that has grown inside you;

Grown to where you shake, bend and explode from the turmoil inside;

Let go of the belief that you are the mules of the world;

That you are not to be accorded your humanity, your womanhood.

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

You are not tough, invincible, unfeeling, hard.

You are vulnerable, you are tender, you are loving beyond compare.

You are unflinchingly loyal in ways that are the envy of the world.

You are boundless in your joy and affection;

You are beyond compare in your resilience.

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

You bear gifts that are unique to you alone;

Gifts borne of the triumphs over racism and sexism;

The cruelty of slavery, the humiliation of segregation.

You have so much to offer this country, this world

Gifts that America has never wanted to acknowledge and appreciate.

You have an experience that has made you wise, and loving

Beyond compare;

A knowledge of resourcefulness and competence; complexities

That dazzle and astound.

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

You are not all the stereotypes that have slandered you;

You are not

Whore

Thief

Incompetent

Inferior

Domineering

Unshakeable

Demanding

Irresponsible

Promiscuous

You are not lies and myths that have been hurled at you

For over 400 years;

You are not an exception to the rule;

You are the rule and the standard by which all others should judge themselves.

You have a remarkable legacy.

Can anyone begin to imagine what courage it must have taken

Knowing that the child you bore during slavery

Would be sold away from you, at a moment’s notice;

Knowing that every time you went to bed, you awoke as a slave;

That each day that came, you faced a life of degradation.

But, you kept on living.

That you faced the onslaught of segregation,

The suffocating subjugation of all aspects of your life.

You were never, “Mrs” or “Miss”,

Always “Girl” or “Gal”,

Always “Nigger wench”, always “hot, insatiable”.

But, you kept on striving.

You have had to live with the reality of shifting;

Shifting at work, shifting by day; shifting by night;

Shifting under the gauntlet of the prying eyes of the world;

Shifting when you arrived home.

But, you prevailed, you did not miss a step.

Black women, take back your souls.

Black women, take back your minds.

Black women, take back your bodies.

Black women, take back your spirits.

Black women, let yours be the last word as to who you are.

Black women, let your life be the testament of what you will be.

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

Let forth the joy, the abundance, the ray of hope;

Let forth the happiness, let forth the  fortitude

That has carried you over that bridge of troubled sighs.

Let forth your inner resolve that keeps you going.

Black women, open a window onto your souls.

And when you open your window, the brilliance

Will shine and light up, like a comet ripping the sky;

When you open your window,

You will rise and take your place

Among the constellations of stars in the heavens;

When you open that window,

You will glory in the glow of your re-birth…..

You will rise like the Phoenixes you are….

You will shine,

Shine….

SHINE.

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