the mind of a self-proclaimed كنداكة

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Entry #12: the fat, black woman

This is a voiceover introduction I did for a presentation on Grace Nichols’s “The Fat Black Woman’s Poems”. I used lines and stanzas from poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Warsan Shire, merged and edited them as well as added to them for artistic purposes.

Inferiority Complex. It makes us feel that in order to be someone special we have to put everyone else beneath us. Are we so insecure in ourselves that we can’t feel good until we pull someone else down?

For instance the negro.

Sweet and docile,
Meek, humble, and kind:
Beware the day
They change their minds!
Written down in history
With bitter, twisted lies,
Treaded on in the very dirt
But still, like dust, the negro rises.

They should no longer be apologetic for their blackness. They should be respected in all their blackness. Because they deserve to be.

And the woman.
An objectified human.
A belittled person.

It’s not her responsibility to be beautiful. She is not alive for that purpose. Her existence is not about how desirable you find her.

You should understand
Just why her head’s not bowed.
She doesn’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see her passing
It ought to make you proud.
She says,
It’s in the click of her heels,
The bend of her hair,
the palm of her hand,
The need of her care,
‘Cause she’s a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s her.

She should no longer be apologetic for my femininity. She should be respected in all her femaleness. Because she deserves to be.


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Entry #5: Woman

I walked out into the harsh winds, ignoring the incessant biting of the cold winter into my frail bones. I walked down the marble steps, my worn out soul trembling, my faith shaken, my energy withering but my body resilient to any discomfort. I walked straight onto the rough granite pavement embedded with the footprints of distressed civilians, inconsiderate of whether or not I was crossing a pedestrian’s designated path.  I walked down the street, dressed in an abaya which served as a constant reminder of the tyranny I was coerced to live in harmony with under false pretenses of the religion I devotedly believed in, avoiding to look into anyone’s angry eyes in fear of the accusing glares deeming me a harlot in spite of my consented full coverage. I walked past the first man, lowering my gaze as I was expected to and felt, I felt his searing gaze scanning my body half-longingly half-distastefully, wrongfully judging the oppressed woman, the silenced voice underneath the humble black garment. I walked towards my destination; bearing the word “underdog” in my mind but having the taboo of a word “woman” emblazoned on my chest and carved into my features, ensuring the indifference my expression conveyed. I walked past the string of grimy stores, ignoring the monotonous words of the citizens while having my mental voice engulfing my thoughts with its anger and struggle to attain my lost rights. I walked on as the thunder rumbled wildly and the sky began to water the earth, inhaling the sweet scent of tobacco mixed molasses which reminded me of the fact men chose to harm their health while women couldn’t due to the social unacceptability of females smoking. I walked, embracing the soon to be transient nature of my suppression, promising myself it wouldn’t be long before I could behave the way I wanted to. I walked, swearing to Allah that they will rue the day they chose to regard women as the weaker sex. I walked and walked, hoping my legs wouldn’t give out and my mind would finally be quiet for once.