Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

Poetry: Woman/ Ain’t I

By Siana Bangura; commissioned for the Ain’t I A Woman Collective launch


I am woman

Ain’t I?

A black woman

And you will hear my cry

Today is the day you will see me

Larger than life

Bigger than I have ever been before

My voice is loud

My eyes are wide

And I am fearful no more

I bit off my shackles and my chains with my bare teeth

And then bathed under the burning Sun

She nurtured me

Glorious affinity

She kissed my black skin and healed my wounds

And the ocean also came to my rescue

Taking pity on me

After watching me drift at sea

Helpless, withered, and lost for too many years

At one point I met God

And I can confirm that God is a black woman

And her skin is rich

Dark with melanin, infused with cocoa

Regal like our joint ancestry

She blew life back into me

Into my inches and my crevices

Turned the dust into specs of power

Ignited the fire in my stomach

Straightened my back

Gave me another chance to walk in the light

With healed wounds and no more scars

And she confirmed that Jesus was not white

And that everything I have been taught is a lie

She told me to exist in honour

Exist in light

With pride

Then armed with a knife, a shovel, a fork, and spirit

She told me to go forth and carve my own space

She said that anger is okay

It is the difference between speech and action

It is my absolute right to speak about my pain

To celebrate my triumphs

To write my own name

To write myself and my sisters back into the history books

Right where we belong next to Madame Yoko, Yaa Asentewa, Queen Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Queen Nzingha and Mamma Afrika.

We are the daughters of the yam

Women whose ancestors built the modern world

We are the cradle of the earth.


My god, we are strong

We are the people who will always overcome

And just as Sojourner demanded in her truth

When they tried to humiliate her

And silence her truth

And question her womanhood

And right to be a woman almighty

We declare fearlessly and unapologetically

Loudly and strongly

We are defiant finally

Ain’t I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

I am woman.

Woman I am

Woman am I

I am a black woman

And we will say it until our mouths are dry

And our gums bleed

Until our chests heave

Until we fall silent because we have chosen to be

She, we, this is HERstory

Our story


We declare that we are women

Black women

Larger than life

Phenomenal in our own right

We are woman.

We are women.

And I am a woman.

Woman am I.


Image: Sabine Mondestin


About the writer:


Siana is a writer, blogger, journalist, and spoken word performer. Hailing from London, she is gradually becoming a name to remember. Described as thought provoking and powerful, her work deals with an array of issues, including sexism, Feminism, masculinity, absent fathers, sexuality, womanhood, sisterhood, racism, white supremacy, and shadeism. Her work is published on platforms such as Writers of Colour, VS Notebook, Strike! Magazine, and Huffington Post and she is the founder and lead editor of No Fly on the WALL, a platform to celebrate, discuss, and engage with Intersectional Feminism. Fiercely passionate about social justice, equality for all, and the wellbeing of women, Bangura considers the works of Maya Angelou, bell hooks, Indigo Williams, Anthony Anaxagorou, and the music of the likes of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone as inspiration.

You can find her tweeting away at @sianaarrgh or blogging at You can listen to her poetry at
And, finally, you can keep up with No Fly on the WALL by visiting 


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