[Image Description: A group of Black people dancing in a dance hall. Posers with meeting titles like “Sugar Shack”, “Dance”,and “Domino” line the wall.]
‘Sugar Shack’ by Ernie Barnes
Poem by Ty Wilson
when I walk into a room,
I spread my Black all over the place.
each step a deep, velvety berry hue
saturating the rug in slick sweetness.
it soaks delicately into all the sitting spaces,
darkening up the curtains while
perfuming the air with shea butter and sage.
when my wide hips swivel to the heavy downbeats and
swish to reedy woodwind whistles of the song on the radio,
it's my Black bathing each corner in moonbeam smiles
and Fenty Beauty ultralight beams.
when my warm vocal cords stretch up to heaven and
cries of devotion burst forth from these thick glossy lips,
it's my Black coating the walls in honey-golden sunlight
and anointing them with virgin coconut oil.
best believe it is my Black
plastering itself upon the walls,
covering every nook and cranny gracefully
With twinkling beams of radiant love.
it is all this Black
in its myriad shades and triumphant sounds
that requires--like all life--breathing room to grow.
So when I walk into a room,
I let my Black bloom in whatever fertile ground offers itself up.
cause my Black ain’t afraid
to be bold
to be loud