“all over the world wars
by the same ills as their oppressor
the real revolution is
to love myself.”
“I like to see where my own life intersects or diverges from notions of what a teenager is supposed to be, or what a black personn is supposed to be, or a woman.” –Allison Joseph
“To be published as a ‘woman of color’ makes me squiggle on a pin: I want to be read by white people, and not just white people who are interested in ‘black’ writing. I want even my speaking about color to speak in some universal way.” –Toi Derricotte
“I shut my ears, averted my eyes, turning instead to what I thought at the time was pain’s antidote: silence. I was wrong… Silence feeds pain, allows it to fester and thrive. What starves pain, what forces it to release its grip, is speech, the voice upon which rides the story, this is what happened; this is what I have refused to let claim me.” –Tracy K. Smith
“I have always loved the feel of books, the way they give a literal weight to words and make of them a sacred object.” –Natasha Tretheway
“I had a lot of hatred, but I realized that kind of hate didn’t do much.
I had to start feuling myself with pride. We owe the ancestors that. So many of the souls who died ion bondage just want us to recognize their struggle.” –Marilyn Nelson and Tonya C. Hegamin
“A lot of people refuse to do things because they don’t want to go naked, don’t want to go without guarantee. But that’s what’s got to happen. You go naked until you die.” –Nikki Giovanni
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?
Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest…It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I suggest that the poets don’t hide. That they scream. That they confront. That they bellow and resist.