By Lena Habtu
My piece was inspired by an article in ZORA, a publication by and for women of color, entitled “Black Women Are Driving a New R&B Resistance” by Mary Retta. Black women’s identities have been degraded for so long that in attempts to uplift us, we’re portrayed as deities instead of human.
to be black and to be woman is to be we throw around words: goddess, queen those are inherent descriptors in being black and being woman there is a special kind of magic in our resilience but i want to shift the focus of the conversation let black girls be normal we exist beyond lazily constructed stereotypes and the pedestals of goddesses there’s not a duality to black women, there’s multiplicity in transcending preconceived notions we’re human the coconut oil that glistens on our skin drizzles into our eyes sometimes unadorned, unbothered we create, we lay idle, we daydream we laugh and laugh and laugh and we’ll be raw and honest and true we’re beautiful in our simplicity, stripped down to our truest, most uncomplicated selves we lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and dream up revolutions and melodies at the same time let us normalize ourselves just being ourselves we’re simple beings the notion that we’re regular shouldn’t be radical amidst the trials and tribulations that accompany living as black and woman it’d be nice if we could just exist
Lena Habtu, simply put, is a poet. She is passionate about advocacy and community organizing, but the outlet through which she processes and recounts lived experience has always been poetry. Her works have been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.