‘Naturally black’ the poem

5 girls

We are all women with different faces, from different cultures and different places,

Naturally black BUT still amazing,

Inhibited with problems which stem back to the SLAVE SHIPS

But to stand down and be abrasive, is like standing up and being racist!

We promise you our NATURAL hair won’t be offensive, or our dark complexions to VINDICTIVE,

The blurred lines between who we are and what you are contradictive,

So I’am warned to CONFORM or be called unrealistic?

But we still spark laughter around our fellow sisters because only we know the depth of our BLISTERS,

The spectrum of perspective changes each day, sadly many of our sisters have lost their shade,

We still look to our BROTHERS to enforce change, even though we know they don’t look at us in the same way.

Written by David Sanni. V/O By Morenike Oketunji

‘Naturally black’ the poem is special, but for many different reasons. One being that we used the key words from Artefact 3.0 the (focus group) to help write this piece of text. This essentially means the poem which is about and for black females was constructed from the words of black females. Which for me is spectacular. Consequently a lot of emotion was used to decorate this poem as words like ‘conform’ and  ‘blurred lines’ came out of heated discussions, which produces raw and authentic feeling.

Breaking down the meaning:

  • ‘BUT’ I purposely used this word to exemplify how people see being black, or a darker shade as disadvantage. As if to say even though we are black we are still great. Although this could be interpreted as me the writer being condescending towards black females.
  • SLAVE SHIPS’ explaining that the issues with being comfortable in your black skin stems back to the slave trade. I also think you can’t be truly happy with yourself and your colour without knowing who you are and where your from.
  • NATURAL‘ this whole topic began from our interest in finding out what ‘Natural beauty’ is. The google definition is ‘Not made or caused by human kind’. The context of that particular line was in retaliation to when Wendy William’s insulted Viola Davis (in artefact 3.0)  for wearing her natural hair to the Oscars.  Also the notion that natural black hair is not acceptable in the workplace.
  • VINDICTIVE‘ was used to say we promise you we won’t hold you responsible for how we feel about yourself. The whole couplet was meant to comedic and condescending, underlining the fact that black females are only accepted under certain conditions.
  • CONFORM‘ this word has major importance. It almost sums up the whole artefact. Showing how females have conformed and changed to fit in to western society and it’s values. In artefact 3.0 the females admitted to conforming and don’t particularly see it as a problem which is sad in my own personal opinion. One thing I will say is that this conformation began decades ago and will continue to happen. The problem is the next generation won’t see it as a conformation but the norm.
  • BLISTERS’ represents all the hurtful comments, all the racial abuse, all the conditioned ideals that have been placed around black females. It is also an apology to every little girl who woke up every morning hoping she would be white so she could feel pretty like all the other white girls.
  • BROTHERS‘ is a plea to all the black men who have made it in sports, music, entertainment etc to help young black females. It is a plea to all the black men who don’t appreciate natural black beauty and slander their black sisters. This is a plea to the world.

I tried my best to place my feet in that of a black females in this western society with the help from the thoughts of all the women we interviewed and read up on. Attempting to give black women a voice. I hope you enjoyed the poem.

 

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