On Being African On Being Woman Poetry
Black Girl Voodoo: why she is my muse
April 7, 2017
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  1. I’m doing a class on Fancophone culture. One of the most beautiful things I have learned in it is understanding the beauty of some misappropriated cultures which were colonized by the French. One such culture is Voodoo. Originating in Haiti, there is a saying that, “Haiti is 70% Catholic, 30% Protestant,  and 100% Voodoo.” Voodoo for the Haitian is a way of life, and in fact,  was one of the biggest propellers of the Haitian Revolution. It was inspiration and liberation simultaneously. Yet outside of Haiti it has been demonized as this dark art that you should never mess with and criticize without even trying to understand. 
  2. With that said, I found some similarities between that and the struggle of girls, black girls in particular to be found beautiful. Simply because there is not enough representation of them, and there are negative connotations that come with being a girl of color. I’ve been asked why I talk so much about the black girl. Why be so narrow? Simply because I am a black girl. The struggles specific to her are ones I identify with and have lived through every day. One of the biggest struggles being little to no representation. When she sees what the world says is beauty, it is hardly ever a reflection of herself. God knows I’ve cried enough tears feeling like I was never good enough. So I learned to create more beauty out of her for her. 

(Photo cred​ @a_mythical_stranger)

THE PIECE:

Dear Black Girl, You are voodoo

Gloriously misunderstood in all the right ways you do you boo

They call you black magic and yes you are black girl magic

Only referring to black as evil because they are afraid of the dark

Afraid of the shadow that can cover up something as bright as the sun

Afraid of the night that only allows what lights it wants to be seen to be seen

They are afraid of the constellations hidden beneath your night shaded skin

They are afraid they won’t be able to see themselves around you until you let them

Afraid your fiery balls of stars are the only ones hot and bright enough to burn them

They are afraid of you so they demonize you as cultic, voodoo

The very mention of ‘black’ before ‘girl’ when owned by you is considered taboo

But here’s the thing. You don’t need to apologize for owning your skin

Don’t need to be defensive about finally learning how to be on the offensive to win. Justified anger is not a sin. 

So baby girl wear your colored skin and know that you are voodoo

Not a derivation of white washed religion but instead a reflection of God’s original intention. 

Not forgetting to mention you are the closest thing we have to perfection in all your glorious imperfection

They say, “you is ratchet or you is sidechick” but “you is magic and you is mystic” 

Don’t have time to play their silly games where winning is using words to call you names 

Instead of fighting fire with fire. Too scared of your flames

They have taken your culture as their appropriation. Don’t you know inside of you is a nation?! 

Don’t let it die because they lie

Instead get up and own your misrepresented spirit. Know it doesn’t define you define it 

Then capture this moment. This moment where you forgot how to be silent. Where you realized you were not an afterthought but the first intent

Capture this moment and put it in your pocket for the days ahead. Where it will still be hard, where you will still feel unloved, unheard, unwanted,  unpretty

Capture this moment and let it remind you, that you are more than worthy

With that knowledge then, let your body be the temple of your city. 

Let your mind be your temple’s treasury. Carrying nuggets of golden wisdom within it infinitely

Lastly let your soul be the sole source of beauty

Then guard all three: mind, soul, body because they are holy. You are holy

With all your potential to be. They carry in them the potential of revolution 

Inside of you stirs liberation 

God’s reflection of you is freedom

So yes, my dear girl, you are voodoo. Gloriously misunderstood but never stop doing all the right ways you do you boo. 💙💙💙


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About author

Shingai

Going on twenty something Black Girl with chubby cheeks,fat lips, big hips, and a really kinky twa (Teeny-weeny-afro) Believer People Watcher Storyteller Favorite color blue, boo!

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  • Njoki Kiiru

    Beautiful! So so well written!

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