A Black Girls Hand-Me-Downs
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Poetry on The Odyssey: A Black Girl's Hand-Me-Downs

Black girls ain't never had it easy; the hand-me-downs they are persuaded to take on are oppressively heavy.

Poetry on The Odyssey: A Black Girl's Hand-Me-Downs

When a Black Women complains the weight she bears is heavy, believe her.

Between doing it "for the culture" and shape-shifting for the status, Black Women are



under the force of stereotypical hand-me-downs.

Culture claims Black women are "Jezebels




Black B*tches."

Culture says "Black women can be nothing more;

Black women can only be less and at their best, they can only be second class..."

And to date, prominent Black women have pushed back on Culture's idea of them,

giving Culture a bit of


Because Culture, though always changing, isn't used to minority groups making demands.

I can't wait for the day that Culture's infectious stereotypes of Black Women are snuffed out and dismissed from popular opinion forever...

But I digress;

Despite the upward mobility of Black women,

The constant fighting of enlighten peoples,


The prayers of Black mothers who secretly cry when the doctor says she is having a Black baby girl,

Culture's idea of Black women is still running the streets and pushing itself on any Black body who can't afford or doesn't know how to tell Culture to *uck off.

Has it ever occurred to you that it is hard to give back a gift someone spent so much time making for you?

Even if you don't want that gift

At all?

Culture's gives out these

Hand-me-down gifts

Like your sister's favorite, tattered shorts and

Like oppression and

Like momma's old, raggedy wedding dress and

Like low-self esteem and

Like grandma's oven-heated, excessively hot flat iron.

Culture's gifts are meaningful, but not worth a damn.

Powerful, but not empowering

Pleasant, but not f o r the recipient

Culture's hand-me-downs have been passed from

Whole nations

To whole societies

To broken Black women

To innocent, undeserving Black children

The stereotypes, without a doubt, cancel out Black excellence and instill

senses of inadequacy

described by double negative phrases of "Ain't no way in hell I can make it,"

And "who (head bob) does (clap) she (eye raise) think (clap) she (neck jerk) is (eye roll)" lectures from momma.

Momma took all of Culture's hand-me-downs.

She didn't know any better.

Momma, with her Mamie labeled blouse and her Black b*tch labeled skirt, only wants the best for her

Beautiful Black baby girl.

So Momma makes sure her daughter reads the Bible once a day

And say Culture's black-girl proverbs twice at night.

(Black Girl Proverbs 1-5 (I am sure there are more))

"She who slicks her gravity-defying hair back into a slick-European styled bun will appear more beautiful to potential employers"

"She who speaks little of her own opinions will win favor over her company's CEO."

"She who is naturally cursed with dark skin tones must stay out of the sun"

"She who wants to be loved must play a submissive role in her relationship"

"She who walks the straight and narrow path between boisterous womanhood and sullen girl-ness will gain access to a greater (more White) world"

Momma's daughter, if she isn't careful, might adopt these same proverbial phrases and make them her own life mantras.

But ya know, Black women, and all other groups of people responsible for the manufacturing and maintaining of ill-fitting Black women stereotypes, can cancel their subscription to Culture anytime they want.

We don't and you don't have to keep Black women boxed in.

A people, as I am learning, is only as enslaved as their mind

And Black women,

Black man,

Cream-colored people,

White people,

We all still have time

To unwind

To undo,

And to let die

The labels, stereotypes, and identities set against Black women

(for no reason or rhyme)

Black Women (and allies), I urge you to think.

Think about the hand-me-downs you've been given.

The baggage, and labels, and s*hit you never asked for

But from which you have always risen

When you finally acknowledge that Culture's hand-me-downs, both the stereotypes and mindset, are ill-fitting and down-right stupid,

Tell it, Anti-Black-Women Culture and those who still support it, to f*ck off.

You are a



You don't need no oppressive hand-me-downs telling you who you ought to be.

Go buy some new clothes

Put them on

Stretch them out

And test the limits of your unique personality.

(And allies, if you see a Black woman with her Afro sky-high and her smile bright, white, and wide, let her be!)

If momma, or aunty, or uncle, or daddy, or society tries to make you put on those ill-fitting hand-me-downs ever again,

Tell them

"I'm good love, enjoy"


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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