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Poetry corner

Black and Proud

Black and Proud, Constance van Niekerk © 2014

For all my black and proud sisters and brothers. You’re loved just as you are.

I am black and I am proud
This is who I am
This is how I was born
This is how I will live
This is how I will die
Very dark and very proud

I shall not look down in shame
I shall not hide in a shell
I shall instead stand tall
I shall not bleach my skin
I shall stand out 
Black and proud

You can whisper all you want
“Poor thing, she’s so very black”
“What manner of woman is this,
so horribly ugly?”
“Black like Nugget shoe polish”
“The woman could do with some light”
“Why, she’s like a moon-less night!”

I shall not feel inferior 
to your light skin
I shall not feel timid
I am as much a human being
as you are
The blood in my veins
is the same colour as yours
The pain you feel, rejected,
is the same pain I feel
I seek not your pity
Neither your sympathy
I am not a divine error
But rather a human gem
On heat
With a zest for authenticity

I celebrate my life
I celebrate my uniqueness
I celebrate my blackness
Black is indeed beautiful
I am black and I am proudBlack is who I am
Thus was I born
Thus I live
To death will I go
Very dark, and very proud

Connie V © 2014

Living in a country like South Africa is very challenging for people with dark complexion. Many have been called names because they are dark. I wrote this poem for everyone who has ever been called Shangane, ‘umnyama’ ‘baie swart’ ‘motso’ ‘mashale’ or any other derogatory names or belittled just because of their complexion or race. This is how God made us, this is how we’ll die. We are black and proud. Never bleach your skin to please other people. Be proud of your uniqueness… Your originality. Be black and proud!

About Connie V

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a South African-based Zimbabwean-born creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. She is also Editor at ZimOnlineNews. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

Discussion

One thought on “Black and Proud

  1. It’s really amazing… proud to read

    Like

    Posted by Ullas | Feb 14, 2020, 12:23

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Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection by Constance van Niekerk

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