Poem: To the Little Black Girl

[Image Description: An illustration of a Black girl with cornrows wearing pink eye shadow and gold hoop earrings.]

Artwork by Annabel Macaulay (@annie_maccc)

Poem by Lauren Lisk 

To the Little Black Girl


Do not forget that you are the future,

And so forge your own path.

Do not forget that you are enough,

That the world turns upon you

As if you are its axis.

Do not forget that your fortune

Is not by chance

And the world is lucky to have you.

 

Remember to take up,

A little more space than you need,

And never change your proud tooth gap

And afro hair or your

Cavernous laugh which

Fills the silence in every room

To appeal to the rest

Of the audience scrutinising

The show which is called,

Your Life.

 

You will never look like them,

You will never be like them,

So don’t waste time trying.

 

Let your voice dance as you speak,

And twist words forcefully,

With your steady tongue.

 

When you smile don’t thin

Your plump lips for an illusion,

But taste that sweet

Black girl magic and

Let it fill your lungs

And make your curls bounce.

 

For it will be hard,

As you correct your name

For someone who won’t

Bother to pronounce it.

As you look around to see,

That you are the only

One who made it.

As you fill your head

With equations and statistics,

Do every extra curricular

To be diminished by,

One five letter word:

Quota

 

And so promise me,

You will not doubt your success.

 

Your future is not a gift,

Never forget that you,

Are not a token.

 

Lauren Lisk is a teenager from London, who is just starting to consider herself as a poet. She writes to hopefully create change in society and make people feel something. Her work has recently been published by Hebe Poetry. When she isn’t thinking about writing, she enjoys playing piano, and singing at the top of her lungs.