Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

Category Poetry

I Live to Know and Love to Live

Eleanor T. Khonje   There is a thirst at the core of my soul, A hunger seeking to feel each crevice; To know each perfection with its imperfections, To know of the space which shapes the definition of I.   My characterisation of self As I know and live it is determined by me, And meeting the kindred Is a matter of sacredness.   In this space, there lives a

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By Siana Bangura   Do you know what a black hole looks like? It’s a vast expanse The type I always prayed to be engulfed by The type of ocean I wished to jump into And to sink, not swim In. You work hard to assimilate That’s part of the plight of an immigrant Short of scrubbing your colour off with wire sheets and bleach You abandon your culture And language

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By Angel Dye   Sugar & spice & everything nice Curls & pearls & tutu skirt twirls   Black girls are not made of struggle & pain & tears & lipstick stains   They are not representatives of the race or aficionados on how to be born at the bottom of the totem pole   They are not specialists in beatings & bruising & brushes with death   & baby-making  

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Now I Know What Love Is

By Nadine Robinson   They say that the fortune and fame make you into a “somebody,” however, I was always somebody. I was Me. – Nadine Robinson I have struggled with moments of vulnerability: “Am I too dark? Am I too tall? Am I too skinny?” Society had me in its vicious claws, forcing me into succumb to what it deemed the ‘norm’ – those unnecessary labels that merely made me

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By Remi Graves   Accreting selfhood as we speak. Eagerly growing into the person I already am. Scent of selfness wafting temptingly by. Struggle morphs gracefully into acceptance And future I beheld by present self feels like a form of time travel. Round trip, though destination and departure gate are the self same space.     About the writer Remi has always written, but found her poetic voice during her year

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Stumbling Into Self

By Lunga Yeni   Slowly, silently, shifting — shapelessly, She stumbled, into her shining. Shy, self-conscious, shadowed by shortcomings, She stumbled, into her shining. Starving, startled, stunted, She stumbled, into her shining. Selfless, steadfast, self-assured, She stumbled, into her shining. Silently, she rose, Slowly, she triumphed; Shifting into her shining, Shapelessly becoming self.   Image: Rod Waddington   About the writer: Lunga Yeni trained as Director at Rose Bruford and has since directed

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Our Parents’ Children

By Selina Nwulu All immigrants are artists – re-creating your entire life is a form of reinvention on par with the greatest works of literature. Edwidge Danticat Theirs was the first gamble. Hopes stitched into suitcase linings before being searched at customs. An airport poster: We cannot assume responsibility for lost belongings. Many will not speak of what was lost and found. How tectonic plates shift the roots of home,

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steps to questioning one’s existence

TW: death   By Angel Dye   i. i turn out the light and before i can reach my bed i’m stepping on dead bodies, feet soaked in blood pooling around my ankles wanna scream, wanna close my eyes and not see death staring me down i jump into the covers, sheets afraid ii. there is cold cement floor and her being photographed lying down on it (is she alive?)

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Growth – Brand New Or A Brand New Me

By Nadine Robinson   “When you develop yourself to the point where you believe in yourself so strongly that you know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited.”   It is time to wear my new skin openly. Brand new. They will see me reinvent myself, into a soul that is made of pure love and honesty. That’s right – a brand new me; a light that

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Poetry: The Journey

By Angel C. Dye   TW: rape, violence     Flower petals are easily plucked and thrown away, and when they fall to the ground they do not sprout up and bloom again.   Is it a curse being born woman?   My friend’s beautiful brown face creases as she fights back welling tears. He touched her and threatened to get her in trouble if she didn’t let him. She

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