Arriving at Black Self-Love (Poem)

By: Sade Norwood
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Arriving at Black Self-Love

There was a time I was disgusted my natural hair.
I hated the way it kinked.
There was a time that I thought my darker skin color was unattractive.
When I was 12, I was in tears on my bathroom floor, praying to God for looser curls and lighter skin.
I desperately pleaded with Him to make me what I thought was beautiful.
The next morning, I woke up in dismay at the reflection in the mirror.
I looked the same.
The same amount of Melanin.
The same Nappy hair.
I went through years of insecurity before I arrived at Self-Love.
Attending an HBCU—unbeknownst to me—was my first step.
There, I learned to accept and appreciate my Blackness.
I learned more about Black history in those four years than I did in my prior 13 years of education.
Despite being Black, I met people of all different backgrounds.
Who knew there were Black people in Alaska!
I grew a stronger self-pride.
I started to embrace my darker hue instead of accepting the narrative that I was beautiful for a dark skin girl.
I learned about Queendom.
The Royalty of Africa
The Beauty of Africa
I want to teach my daughter that her Melanin is impenetrable.
So she doesn’t have to go through years of insecurity before arriving at Black Self-Love.
I want to teach her that Black Self-Love does not have to arrive as a result of suffering.
I am teaching her that her skin, the way her hair kinks, the full pronunciation of her name is
Arriving at Self-love took me years, discovering Black Self-love took me years, but I am here to tell you to turn a deaf ear to the nay-sayers, haters, racists and prejudice.
You are beautiful.
You are worthy.
Your skin color matters.
Your voice matters.
Keep shouting.
Keep fighting.
Keep loving that amazingly divine Black skin that you are in.

Sade Norwood

Sade Norwood

Sade’ is an alumnus of Virginia State University. She’s also a published author. She was first published in “Hysteria 3” after winning a flash-fiction writing competition. Her piece, “Adrift,” made a huge impression on the judges, and the following year, She was asked to join the competition as a judge for the flash-fiction category. She has been featured in the online magazine 21Ninety and Harness Magazine. You can now purchase Section 1 of Sade’s three-part short fiction collection, “Love & Other Miseries” on Amazon. Instagram: @sade_thewriter

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