Unrest, protest, marching in the streets
Rubber bullets to the face, and chanting on repeat
Showing up and out to support a prominent cause
All the while just ignoring the community’s internal flaws
But pay attention, listen up, because this much is true
Black women, you should stay at home, this fight is not for you.
For all the pain you endure today, for all the mournful sorrow,
You’ll get called a queen today, and then a bitch tomorrow.
Why should black women stay home? Well I’m glad you asked
Because social justice warrioring is quite a dangerous task.
While marching, you’ll be sweaty, bloodied, and covered in dirt
Because toppling injustices is hard and strenuous work
You fight the men, though not a man, squared up ‘gainst guns and shields
Your fist held high, your mouth agape, a warrior who will not yield
This strips your femininity though, a frequent black male complaint
We are loud and ratchet, soft and delicate we sure ain’t
Our hair is fake, our lashes too, acrylics coat our nails
Where other race women are “more feminine”, to them, the black woman fails
But then they have no problem when we push our femininity back
To march and scream and cry for them when they’re under attack
This internal hypocrisy is something you should skip
By staying home and letting the black men go right the ship
Because I bet, in no time flat, we’ll return to BAU
And if things don’t go to plan, who gets the blame? “Bitch, you!”
For all the work you’ve done today, the time in the shine is borrowed
You’ll be called a queen today, angry black bitch tomorrow.
Women are being snatched up at these rallies left and right
But no one seems to ever care about black women’s plight
If you dare call out something like the hate that’s spewed online
You’ll be rebuffed with choruses of how “now is not the time”
They have the nerve to rap about the loyalty these “hoes” lack
But on the frontlines of this war, does Becky have their back?
I’m yet to see the likes of Becky, Prisha or Mei Ling
Or Consuela or Karen do much of anything.
But guess who is lining up to keep the front lines manned?
Keisha, Latanya, and Monique have everything in hand.
Too busy hiding behind A CHILD as the world goes helter-skelter
The only time unambiguous dark-skinned women and girls get shine
Is when they risk their lives and limbs screaming on the damn front line
But just you watch, in weeks to come, how quickly the tides turn
As black women go from queen to bitch…and yet we never learn.
Black women are out in droves you see, to defend her precious kings
But the nonblack women that these dudes praise are not doing the same thing
This is a strange dichotomy in which black women exist
Her valor is approved today, tomorrow that strength makes her a bitch.
Today you will be praised for taking bullets to the eyes
Tomorrow you’ll be cursed out for “dysfunction that leaves your thighs”.
Today you will be commended for being a general in this war
Tomorrow you’ll be back to being a hair-hatted hooligan whore.
Today you’ll be a warrior whose words stirred folks to action
Tomorrow you’ll be in last place when it comes to black male attraction
You’re lauded for your eloquence, the strength in how you speak
But compliments are fleeting, so you’ll be a bitch next week
Even though your love for them is deep, from heart to your bone marrow
You’ll be called a queen today, but white girls winning tomorrow.
You marched for them, got maced for them, got trampled, stomped and beat
You stood up on the front lines facing militarized police
You put their plight ahead of yours for what seems the millionth time
But what tangibles has all this brought other than video clips online?
To you black women I have to say I think this marching should stop
There are other ways to fight the man than getting shot at by cops
This is indeed bigger than just one man, on that we do agree
But I can’t help but notice the significant discrepancy
The protests and the movements launched to seek justice for George Floyd
Are significantly more widespread than that for Rekia Boyd.
They want you to march for them amidst a whole pandemic
While quietly ignoring the domestic violence epidemic
“Now is not the time!” they shout, when we bring up black women’s pain
But when this is over, it won’t be long, before it’s all our fault again
In time I’m sure I’ll be accused of being mean, divisive
Along with common epithets intended to be derisive
It’s amazing to see in real time, how effortless it is to switch
From being hailed as a black queen, to dark skinned nappy bitch
But alas, the community was divided long before I ever hit the scene
I guess that means I am a bitch, ‘cause I don’t want to be your queen
Today you are a queen for them, your strength they admire and use
Tomorrow though, you’ll be a bitch, back to the usual abuse
Today you are a freedom fighter, a loyal ride or die
Tomorrow you’ll be back in place as the community’s fall guy
Today you are a powerful voice, clearly articulating
Tomorrow you won’t let a man lead, “Bitch, you’re so emasculating!”
Keep catching mace and bullets for those who would not even think twice
To use you as a shield, excuse, a mule, or sacrifice
The black mother is always the one to blame when shit hits the wall
But when it’s time to hit the streets, it’s not your dad you call
The entitlement to black women’s labor, despite enduring black male hate
Should really make black women say “no sir, too little too late”
I can’t help but see how much black women get up in arms
When black males are unjustly murdered, compared to when they themselves are harmed
It seems as if the only crimes that warrant a response
Are those against black males. All others merit nonchalance
There’s all this energy out there for coppers in the streets
But nothing for the pervert uncle touching your babies
The chants of black lives matter become harder to believe
When tomorrow it’ll be our fault again, through child support and weave.
All in all, you all are grown, the choice is yours to make
Whether protesting or staying home is the route you take
As for me, my marching days were done in high school band
But rest assured there are other ways that we can lend a hand
So no, I won’t be marching, I’ll not make a single sign
Those boots and flapping capes to wear can pass me right on by
I acknowledge though, that you’re adults and can do whatever you wish
Just be aware today you’re a queen. Tomorrow? Same old bitch.
Copyright Nicole, Beyond Black and White, 5 June 2020
Disclaimer: This poem was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.