• frank_lumato 24w

    The strong black woman is dead

    while struggling with the reality
    of being a human instead of a myth,
    the strong black woman passed away.

    Medical sources say she died of natural causes,
    but those who knew her know she died
    from being silent when she should have been screaming,
    milling when she should have been raging,
    from being sick and not wanting anyone to know
    because her pain might inconvenience them.

    She died from an overdose
    of other people clinging to her
    when she didn’t even have energy for herself.
    She died from loving men who didn’t love themselves
    and could only offer her a crippled reflection.
    She died from raising children alone
    and for not being able to do a complete job.

    She died from the lies her grandmother
    told her mother and her mother told her
    about life, men & racism.
    She died from being sexually abused as a child
    and having to take that truth
    everywhere she went every day of her life,
    exchanging the humiliation for guilt and back again.

    She died from being battered
    by someone who claimed to love her
    and she allowed the battering to go on
    to show she loved him too.
    She died from asphyxiation,
    coughing up blood from secrets
    she kept trying to burn away
    instead of allowing herself
    the kind of nervous breakdown she was entitled to,
    but only white girls could afford.

    She died from being responsible,
    because she was the last rung on the ladder
    and there was no one under her she could dump on.
    The strong black woman is dead.

    She died from the multiple births
    of children she never really wanted
    but was forced to have
    by the strangling morality of those around her.
    She died from being a mother at 15
    and a grandmother at 30 and an ancestor at 45.

    She died from being dragged down
    and sat upon by UN-evolved women posing as sisters.
    She died from pretending
    the life she was living
    was a Kodak moment instead of a 20th century,
    post-slavery nightmare!

    She died from tolerating Mr. Pitiful,
    just to have a man and the house.
    She died from lack of orgasms
    because she never learned
    what made her body happy
    and no one took the time to teach her
    and sometimes, when she found arms
    that were tender, she died
    because they belonged to the same gender.

    She died from sacrificing herself
    for everybody and everything
    when what she really wanted to do
    was be a singer, a dancer, or some magnificent other.

    She died from lies of omission
    because she didn’t want
    to bring the black man down.
    She died from race memories
    of being snatched and raped
    and snatched and sold and snatched
    and bred and snatched and
    whipped and snatched and worked to death.

    She died from tributes
    from her counterparts
    who should have been matching
    her efforts instead of
    showering her with
    dead words and empty songs.
    She died from myths
    that would not allow her
    to show weakness without
    being chastised by the lazy and hazy.

    She died from hiding her real feelings
    until they became hard
    and bitter enough to invade
    her womb and breasts like angry tumors.
    She died from always lifting something
    from heavy boxes to refrigerators.
    The strong black woman is dead.

    She died from the punishments
    received from being honest
    about life, racism & men.
    She died from being called a bitch
    for being verbal,
    a dyke for being assertive
    and a whore for picking her own lovers.
    She died from never being enough
    of what men wanted,
    or being too much for the men she wanted.

    She died from being too black
    and died again for not being black enough.
    She died from castration
    every time somebody thought
    of her as only a woman,
    or treated her like less than a man.

    She died from being misinformed
    about her mind, her body
    and the extent of her royal capabilities.
    She died from knees pressed too close together
    because respect was never part
    of the foreplay that was being shoved at her.

    She died from loneliness in birthing rooms
    and aloneness in abortion centers.
    She died of shock in courtrooms
    where she sat, alone,
    watching her children being legally lynched.

    She died in bathrooms
    with her veins busting open
    with self-hatred and neglect.
    She died in her mind,
    fighting life racism, & men,
    while her body was carted away
    and stashed in a human warehouse
    for the spiritually mutilated.
    And sometimes when she refused to die,
    when she just refused to give in
    she was killed by the lethal images
    of blonde hair, blue eyes and flat butts,
    rejected by the O.J.’s, the Quincy’s, & the Poitiers.

    Sometimes, she was stomped to death
    by racism and sexism, executed
    by hi-tech ignorance
    while she carried the family in her belly,
    the community on her head,
    and the race on her back!

    The strong silent, talking black woman is dead!