Black Girl


After Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans


Exquisite beyond wonder, woman
layers peeled back like sheets on a 100 degree night
heavy with discomfort and wet
from tears and my hearts breaking

How can this be?
my chest aches from
the heaviness of a paperback
my heart shattered and mended
so many times its walls are scars
of a pain so rich in grief
I could buy and sell the whole world!

Oh, but my soul…
Angry, no Furious, no-
What have we done?
What are we doing?

Our gorgeous black sisters,
our futures, our mothers,
our lovers, our friends, our

Know your story America!
learn that your liberty was
granted on the backs of whip
scarred Queens, in the
wombs of child mother,
in the DNA of

Are you not disgusted
at this system of
Hate, Marginalized,
but Unrealized?

Ah Her strength!
Her quiet yet
proud, righteous,
intelligent, deep,
loving, strong,
refusing to be chained any more

Scream White America
at the indignity you’ve
clothed your child in,
your bloody hemmed Liberty
with her torch so dazzling
in the eyes so blind they still
can’t see
Our Black Woman’s

And you Man- who G-d built
to cover, protect, live for, die for
this flesh of himself- Woman.
You’d turn your libido into
a tool of oppression, you’d
crush out the sacred soul,
the hope of a human you would call property,
because her skin glows like ebony fire-

I want to scream at every insult,
injury, injustice,
until my voice becomes
a sand blown desert
Oh and I will!

My small thank you
in my small words
is just for you

“Thank you, Jasmine”


  1. Lucy Elliott on November 2, 2022 at 12:42 PM

    Powerful words! Lots of passion and energy.

  2. HL on November 4, 2022 at 2:35 PM

    Hi RL! There is such irrepressible power behind your voice as a poet. Your imagery is stunningly visceral, and it paints such vivid, unforgettable mental portraits of a nation seeped in injustice and heartache while simultaneously adding glimmers of hope and beauty to the stories of those who suffer from such injustices. You call forth details of the dark, scar-covered history of America, but not purposelessly; you use such details to highlight the triumph and resilience of the human spirit. Your words are soaked in pain, in frustration and fury…but they’re also flourishing with gorgeous, lyrical praise towards the unbreakable souls of Black women. I absolutely loved reading this poem. Keep writing more like it!!

  3. Margie on November 5, 2022 at 8:30 AM

    Thank you RL for this beautiful poem. I have read it again and again. You have a powerful voice and it needs to be heard far and wide. I hope you keep writing and sharing your work.

  4. Emily on November 6, 2022 at 9:53 PM

    Hi RL! You did a very good job about black women. The education system teaches about enslavement, but as you said most people don’t fully understand the troubles people of color had. Especially women, as women weren’t cared about as a person but rather as a producer of children. Black women suffered in more ways from being raped by slave owners to the abuse they got while doing their jobs. You accumulated the voices of all black women and turned them into a work of art. This describes the generational issues of racism and inequalities against minority groups. I love the message and how you executed it. Nicely done.

  5. Ruby on November 7, 2022 at 3:57 PM

    Hi RL, this poem is so powerful. Thank you for speaking up about the things that matter. I really like how you brought up the history of black women and how they and their children are America’s beginnings. Thinking about that when looking at the treatment of black women today is so eye opening. I see you and I will fight for you!

  6. Natalia on November 13, 2022 at 11:09 PM

    I cannot closely relate to the struggles you’ve described, but as an outsider, you poetry was able to reach me and help me feel the emotion you are describing. I really enjoyed the style of writing you chose where certain words were emphasized and line length was shorter to make certain points. It makes the poem interesting to look at visually and very gripping to read. Keep writing, this piece is very good and can reach so many people!

  7. Janashya Napier on November 14, 2022 at 4:29 AM

    This poem spoke to me being able to relate to being a black girl and this poem is a very visual representation of what we go through.

  8. Oshane on November 16, 2022 at 4:31 PM

    Hi RL,

    Thanks for sharing your poem with us and reminding us of the struggle of racism in America and that women of color can go about life being unappreciated and undervalued. Your writing makes a lot of reference to history which i think it is important to understand where we are from in order to know where we are going in life. To learn to love and appreciate each other.

  9. Crystal Ettridge on November 20, 2022 at 10:30 AM

    I admire that you were inspired by the book, “Black Girl,” to the degree that you transformed your thoughts on our history, the oppression of racism, and the struggle of women in to alter the course of history. Please keep writing poetry.

  10. Jaela on November 22, 2022 at 11:30 AM

    Being a young black girl this poem was very meaningful to me. Us as black women are not praised and cherished as we should be. Our time will soon come and everyone will recognize our worth!

  11. samar Fairley on November 22, 2022 at 8:05 PM

    I love this so much I wish I could’ve seen this as a young black girl for motivation when question my self. This is a strong and great poem rooted deep in truth experience and emotion

  12. Al on November 27, 2022 at 11:56 AM

    Such an inspirational message! I liked the part where the concepts came together. It really felt like I got closure from listening to your masterpiece.

  13. Pratham on November 27, 2022 at 5:12 PM

    The word choice was profound and really left an impact on me

  14. Monte Weaver on November 28, 2022 at 12:14 PM

    I really like this poem. Keep using your voice to exploit America and free our people! As a suggestion I would say use more word play, rhyme with extravagant words. It makes the reader feel the story more. What you have here is amazing black queen, keep going! I’ll be looking for more poems from you.

  15. Sebastian Delgado on November 28, 2022 at 12:16 PM

    I like how the poem has a sense of building up to this great moment of catharsis. A moment when someone can’t deal with injustice anymore, so they have to say something loud and proud. I think the poem does an excellent job of helping someone understand the author’s mindset. I also like the word play of “so rich in grief I could buy and sell the whole world.”

  16. samar on December 1, 2022 at 2:37 PM

    This spoke volumes to me as a young black woman. I hope many girls like us see this to know they have a voice and aren’t the only people experiencing these things. This was a lovely written poem

  17. Deryn Van Der Tang on December 1, 2022 at 3:31 PM

    A Powerful poem, filled with emotion. I hear the generational pain in your voice. You have a marvelous voice; now you can use it to break free of the past oppression – you have cracked the hard shell of this distasteful nut of the demeaning of black women in slavery and current culture. You most adequately expressed this. But I see a shoot of hope; you don’t want this anymore. I would love to see your following poem, where the true beauty and worth of the ebony woman burst into glorious technicolor in her own right, having escaped from the past hard shell, and becomes a light for her community, and the nation as a whole. Bring it on your next poem.

  18. Beth Wehrle on December 7, 2022 at 2:03 PM

    Wow! So powerful are your words. Keep doing this.

  19. Angela on December 10, 2022 at 11:25 AM

    As a young black lady, this had a profound impact on me. I hope plenty of girls view this so they can realize they have a voice and aren’t the only ones going through these things. This poetry was beautifully crafted.

  20. Mary on December 23, 2022 at 8:16 PM

    i just loved this poem. Your voice is strong and your imagery is so visceral. Although I know this is particularly spoken in your voice as Black and that is your immediate intended audience, your word play will reach and resonate with many people regardless of age and race. I am a white middle aged woman, I really loved it. Keep writing!!

  21. Aniyah on January 23, 2023 at 3:20 PM

    Wow, this is such a powerful poem. I was interested to see what this would be about when I saw your poem title because I am a young black woman. I can feel your passion and pain, I understood everything that you said. Good work!

  22. TM on February 4, 2023 at 1:42 PM

    To RL- Your writing is so impressive, you’re able to pack so much emotion and heart into this poem. There is so much injustice in this country for black individuals, especially black women. They try to repress you and your culture, but you sustain it. This poem is so powerful, it shows how it doesn’t matter whether these women are your mothers, sisters, friends, or even who you see passing by, each of them is equally important. All of them have gone through some idea of oppression and that’s not ok. Women are entirely oppressed, and women of color are even more oppressed as a whole. It’s important to teach those around us just how the world treats these individuals. The whole idea of America is built on this “land of the free,” when half of the individuals in this country would have never been free 100 years ago. Many people even think that people shouldn’t be taught about how much oppression there was years ago, but it’s essential to teach people this because that oppression is still here and shows itself differently today. Speaking about issues like this brave and the way you go about it is admirable. Your poem is so powerful, thank you for sharing!

  23. Matthew Handley on February 5, 2023 at 6:10 PM

    While I cannot relate to the troubles conveyed in this poem, I can understand them. Your voice is heard, and your message is powerful. I hope that your work can be posted and shared somewhere where the rest of the world can hear your voice.

    Keep up the great work, and let your voice sing. Wishing you all the best! 🙂

  24. hadassah on February 8, 2023 at 12:23 PM

    I read this as a young black girl, and this poem speaks and inspires girls to do more and knows they are not alone.

  25. Mitchell on February 12, 2023 at 12:09 PM

    Hello RL, I love reading your poem, and I liked how you expressed black women. I also liked that you transformed your thoughts on our history, the actions of racism, and the struggle of women. Although I am not a black women I definitely understand your point of view and i’m very glad you were able to express it and show the true meaning of what it is like to be in your shoes and other black girls shoes.

  26. Peter Zhang on February 12, 2023 at 10:46 PM

    This is powerful and emotional poem that depicts the struggle of a colored American. They have been suffered through oppression and unfair treatment for centuries. Although there is effects of the pre-existing civil rights movements, we should still raise more awareness to bring more justice in this corrupted society. There must be voices that constantly spreading the ideas and pro-actively protect our people.

  27. kayla on February 12, 2023 at 11:22 PM

    I really appreciate that you shared your story with us and I really enjoyed reading your poem. Your strategic word choice and style of writing really set the poem on top. Great Job!

  28. PJ on March 30, 2023 at 9:57 AM

    I think is very powerful and as a black girl this makes me feel more confident of myself

  29. A. on April 16, 2023 at 11:49 PM

    Your poem powerfully expresses admiration and frustration towards black women, their strength, and the injustices they face, using vivid imagery and passionate language. it does such a good job addressing the history of oppression faced by black women in America, highlighting their resilience and contributions despite enduring great personal cost. i love how you also called out the complicity and responsibility of men in perpetuating oppression, while expressing gratitude and solidarity towards black women.

  30. Denise on April 24, 2023 at 11:51 AM

    Oh, RL, what a poem. It is so haunting, powerful and spot on. It is even more this year than you last year when you wrote it. I can’t believe the laws that are being passed in red states about lightening, whitening our history. Wow. This is amazing.

    “Know your story America!
    learn that your liberty was
    granted on the backs of whip
    scarred Queens,”

  31. JN on May 2, 2023 at 4:50 PM

    Your poem is phenomenal! The amount of passion and pain that is felt through this poem is tremendous as well as the care. As a black women you touch upon a lot of the struggle we have to go through in a society that doesn’t value us, I love that. It’s like you’re using your voice to voice the issue of racism, specifically black women and it’s amazing. Keep up the good work.

  32. LP on May 10, 2023 at 10:20 AM

    This is a beautiful poem ! Society over looks women and their power, but even more when it comes to Black women. It’s time America tells it’s history correctly and own up to the generational trauma, discrimination, racism, etc. We know what the problem is, its time we call it out and make them responsible. Thank you so much for your poem!

  33. Sophia on May 10, 2023 at 3:07 PM

    Wow, this was such a powerful and emotion filled poem. You did an amazing job of expressing your feelings and painting an image of the world. Your line “Know your story America! Learn that your liberty was granted on the backs of whip scarred Queens” was so incredibly powerful. You have such great visuals and descriptive lines. The beginning and ending were perfect. I could feel myself reading this with a loud voice then caught myself becoming quieter as I reached the end and read “my small thank you, in small words.” really really great!

  34. Destiny Laws on May 12, 2024 at 5:54 PM

    The power, feelings, anger, and agony behind this poem is very telling. I would have loved to hear this being spoken in a slam poetry setting. As a black girl, this made me feel happy. Happy because someone out there is still fighting for us to be loved, heard, and seen. Thank you, RL. You are surely one of a kind,

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The poets featured here are currently incarcerated, and many of them are in federal prisons far from home. Your feedback is a valuable source of motivation and connection to the outside community. Post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem. Messages will be passed on directly to the author. Comments may not appear immediately on the site, as our team processes them to mail to the poets.