Expectations of a Black Girl by Brya Colomb

(1st place poetry winner)

I am expected to:

be docile as you try and take from me my basic rights

be sweet, easier to make me a fetish, a “ Chocolate Queen”

keep in mind what makes you comfortable, no confrontations, no scenes

keep the peace which means no speaking out on injustices that will befall me

I am expected to:

smile as you touch my hair without permission and comment “O-M-G! You’re like a sheep!”

converse with you in a vernacular foreign to your tongue like “YAS BAE! IT’S LIT! You betta werk hon-TE!”

teach you how to twerk, dab, hit the quan, pipe it up and get into formation as if it isn’t FUBU

I am expected to:

encourage your new age black facing as you still call my features ugly

accept the appropriation of my culture and the constant denial of my struggles because “It’s just a trend!”…right?

agree when you say “You’re not like other black people” as if that is a compliment

allow you to stereotype me, my brothers, and my sisters as if we aren’t as multifaceted as you

I don’t expect this food for the soul to be ingested, but simply left on the table

to be wrapped up and reheated for the next day and the day after that

the expectations of a black girl wrapped tightly in cooled Saran Wrap


-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

-Photo credit to Black America Web