By Seema Nasreddin
This black is beautiful.
It took years for me to be okay with my melanin.
With my tight locked curls and my dark brown eyes.
My thick thighs, and my big bum.
My skin tone which is a fine chocolate colour
My afro which is soft to the touch but makes me look powerful
My thick thighs which can crush any spirit
This black is smart.
It took years for me to realise that my skin tone does not equate to my education.
My love for books continues to grow
My thirst for knowledge will never cease to exist
My school will not prevent my education, and I will learn what this black can do.
My books will come from people who understand my struggle
My knowledge will stem from the different perspectives of this generation
This black is strong.
It took years for me to go against the world’s preconception of who I am
My spirit will stay standing making sure to prove that I am here
That I am relevant
That I will no longer be a black strip on a white background
My heart will show the pain that has been placed upon me
My body has scars to show you what I have gone through
My spirit will not be broken
My heart will keep beating
My body will scream beauty
This woman is tough.
It took years for me to be able to voice my opinions
My laugh is loud and shakes up an entire room
My smile is so radiant that you can see it from a distance
My body is filled with love and passion
My laugh will be saved for things that don’t insult my existence
My smile will be on my face when I have a reason to smile
My body will be shared with who I choose to share it with
This woman is free.
It took years for me to realise that I can do with my vessel as I please.
My hands are gentle like the ocean when it comes to kiss the sand
My voice is importunate and demands to be listened to
My legs are under the control of my mind and I will allow whoever I please
My hands will hold the ones that I love
My breath will only be used when I decide to use it
My legs will only be open for when I decide to open them
This woman is bold.
It took years for me to realise that I can be confident
My feet are cemented to the earth below me, showing that I will not budge
My lungs breathe in self-love and push out hatred
My veins have cleared from poison of negativity
My body will scream about the beauty that is held on my skin and below my chest
My lungs will be filled with the compliments I give myself
My bones will replace the sadness that I used to feel when I looked at myself with the love I now feel for myself
This black woman is proud
And I don’t care what anyone says.
I am who I am
It took my years to get to where I am today.
And no one can take that away from me.