This collection addresses the idea of being a mixed girl telling the stories of what it feels like to be in her shoes. Being mixed race with black and white, having people look at you and not know what you are mixed with and not ask but just look at you wondering. In For a Black Girlwe hear the voice of a mixed girl sharing her experience of being good, talented, pretty but…only for a black girl. Then to get the compliment “You’re pretty for a black girl.” What is behind this comment? As if just being a black girl isn’t good enough to hold the compliment. And in Not Black Enough- Not White Enoughwe hear her voice share what it feels like to not be black enough or white enough to fit in or be accepted by any group. The feeling of isolation and loneliness that people feel when a group that they are a part of tells them that they don’t represent it enough to be accepted by the masses. The collection is a great example of what it feels like to look well put together on the outside and what it really feels like on the inside to be alone especially when it feels like an attack on their race, the main thing their parent gave to them.
PO-Collection of Poetry About Girls of Color Being Enough
A simple assignment to “Reflect” turned into
A lesson on individuality.
If asked the question
Posed to think about
Ponder if you will[ip1] [KT2]
“If you reflected on who you are, what would that reflection look like?”[ip3] [KT4]
I asked my mom what she would say.
Her eyes on me and then on the ground
My dad’s eyes on me then on the ground
What did they see in me that made them need to look at me and then away
Was it the perfect mix of my mother’s Gypsy Hungarian
And my father’s sprinkle of Cameroon
My parents perfect combination made my skin[ip5]
Darker than the white girls and lighter than the black girls?
Is that the reflection that she saw?
My grandmother with the wisdom of the history of generations of Gypsies
The disparity and honest experience of the struggle of the Hungarian experience
That they both shared with me
“Know who you are, know where you came from, see what that history is in your reflection and decide what your shadow will leave behind.”
That black thing that hits me in just the right light.
But there is no face there
No one looks at their shadow and questions if it is a reflection of them or what that reflections says.
What do you see?
Right now, in this moment.
You see something right?
[ip1]This part kind of seems awkwardly worded.
[KT2]Because it’s poetry it should be read as though you are phrasing “asking a question” in three different ways.
[ip3]Should the quotations be different characters or a different voice used like what was the purpose of the quotations being differentiated from words without the quotations?
[KT4]This is you, the performer asking this question to us, the audience
[ip5]Could we mention the mix of gypsy Hungarian and Cameroonian here early on? When first reading this I thought it was saying that I was only gypsy Hungarian and not fitting in with white or black but I am noticeably African American.