10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman by Joshua Bennett (Captioned)

Uploaded by TheStriversRow on 01.04.2011

10 Things I want To Say To A Black Women
I wish I could put your voice in a jar.
Wait for those lonely winter nights when I forget what God sounds like
run to the nearest maximum security prison
And open it.
Watch the notes bounce off the walls like ricochet bullets
etching keyholes into the sternum of every brother in the room
skeletons opening rose-blossom beautiful to remind you
that the way to a Black man's heart is not through his stomach
it is through the heaven in your hello
The echo of unborn galaxies that pounces forth from your vocal chords
And melts ice grills into oceans
Baptizing our lips
Until harsh words fade from our memories
And we forget why we stopped calling you divine in the first place.
When I was born My mother's smile was so bright
It knocked the air from my lungs
And I haven't been able to breathe right since.
There's something about the way light dances off your teeth
The way the moon gets jealous when you mock her crescent figure
With the shape of your mouth
you make the sky insecure
Self-conscious from being forced to stare at your face every morning
And realizing that the blues of her skin
was painted by the symphony doing cartwheels on your tongue
Who else could make kings out of bastards?
Turn a fatherless Christmas into a floor full of gifts,
and a kitchen that smells like the Lord is coming tomorrow
and we must eat well tonight
I used to think my sister was a blacksmith
the way she bent fire and metal
and made kitchen miracles at age 14
making enough food to feed a little boy
who didn't have the words to say
how much she meant to him back then
or enough backbone to say so the day he turned 20
Your skin reminds me of everything beautiful I have ever known
the color of ink on a page
The earth we walk on
And the cross that hung my Savior
I've seen you crucified too
Spread out on billboards to be spiritually impaled
By millions of men with eyes like nails
Who made martyrs of your daughters
I’m sorry for the music videos
for Justin Timberlake at the super bowl
And the young man on the corner this morning
that made you want to shed your flesh and become invisible
never doubt
That he only insults you because
Men are confused
And we're trained from to destroy or conquer everything we see from birth
If I ever see Don Imus in public
I'll punch him in the face.
One time
For every member of the Rutgers and Tennessee women's basketball teams
then, I'll show him a picture of Phylicia Rashad
Assata Shakur
Eartha Kitt
My Mother
My Grandmother
and my 7-year old niece
who's got eyes like firebombs
And then dare him to tell me that Black Women are only beautiful in one shade of skin
You are like a sunrise in a nation at war.
You remind people that there is always something worth waking up to.
When we are married I will cook,
Do the dishes and whatever else it takes to let you know
That traditional gender roles have no place in the home we build
so my last name is an option
babysitting the children a "treat" we split equally
And our bed
Will be an ancient temple
Where I construct altars of wax on the small of your back
we make love like the sky is falling
To the rhythm of bed springs and Bell Biv Devoe
Applauding in unison saying this is the way it was meant to be.
My daughter will know her father's face from the day she is born
And I can only pray this Superman complex lasts long enough
For me to deflect the pain this world will aim at her
From the moment she's old enough to realize that the color brown
Is still not considered human most places
but my daughter will have a smile like a wheelchair.
So even when I am at my worst
When Kryptonite of this putrid planet threatens to render me grounded
The light dancing off her teeth
will transform the shards of my broken body
Into blackbirds shaped like hearts
Taking flight on wind that reminds me of my Savior's hands
Of my daughter's smile
of my mother's laugh when I was in her womb.
Never stop pushing
This world needs you now more than ever