Writing has been a part of my life since I learned cursive in the third grade, but I didn’t fall madly in love with it until well into my high school years, where I was often known as the “Black One” or “That Black Girl with the Weird Hair.” Writing became the channel that I never knew I needed. I struggled with my identity as a Black girl and what it means to be black. People often tried to quantify my blackness; my classmates or some of my family didn’t believe I was black enough because I went to a predominately white school. Through my writing I was able to find myself, and it illuminated the person I am today. I don’t know the kind of person I would be now had I not fallen for writing. Something as simple as writing my feelings on a blank page could extricate me from any bad mood or bad day.
Is the starless night
A hole in space that absorbs all that can fall within.
The colorless color fabricates as rubbish to the blind.
The sign of evil and frightening reminder of sin,
The magic of silver tongued casting witches twisting the mind,
Devils, liars, mystics, cheats, and criminals all absorbs in one,
Distorting the color, policing the image is man who places the bind.
Embrace your beauteous form whose curves thy dark caress on light ought,
Enthrall those who shun your essence in ignorance, for the future is fluid to sight.
A resilient experience has made the child in me wise,
Your pain knit in every fiber and strand within my heart and soul forever sown.
Black, is my pride, armor, culture mixed in a bowl, the essence that creates my mind,
A woman painted an image of a man, woman, child in thy color refined.
My identifier, the absorbing shroud over my mirror,
For one so illustriously dark and ebony, my opinion is ever clearer.
Thy inky hand caresses my hair and face sweeping down to my feet.
Acceptance, the windy cold mountain challenge, the greatest feat.
I am you, and you define me.
This poem created a vacuum for all the thoughts of what it means to me to be black, and how I should move forward, despite all the labels added to my race. Writing is a way to find one’s self-awareness, and I think that bleeds into my works often. To quote the well-known author Enid Bagnold, “Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything… It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”