"Your Daily POPculture Re-up"

Former ‘Diva of the Week’ Gets Published

As you know, our “Divas of the Week” are all about spreading positivity, making moves, and all having all around “diva behavior” (the good kind!).  One of our former Divas, Tatiana Johnson, is one of the most talented poet/spoken artists in New England and she’s just had one of her works published in Simmons College’s Sidelines Magazine.  Werk!

Tatiana on what the poem is about:

“I wrote this poem a while ago after I heard someone I know was bleaching her skin. It made me think of ancestry and what it means to be a woman in brown skin, no matter the shade. I wrote this for her, and for women who were born from some amazing, strong, enduring women. This poem is a dedication to them, and is a representation of something way bigger than words and myself. I want people to feel connected to something significant when they read this. It’s simply a reminder of being connected to a past that’s unfathomable”

Read her beautiful words below.  We’re proud of you Tati!!!

She speaks like the wrinkles congregating in my knuckles
Like her mouth sits in grins like my nail beds
They call her the mule of this world
She left her mark on my belly to say we were once connected
There is no silence in her birthing
Her becoming is strength wrapped around moments that break backs who’ve never felt pain
Finger prints dusted with soil from digging graves for children that were left in seas before 
Her body knew emancipation
Trauma steadily rocking her children and her childrens children in ships from
Passages that brought money to everyone but her
Will God not have mercy on her suicide that for her only meant freedom
She speaks when they call her exotic
Afraid that she may just be beautiful that the coarseness in her hair
Is a metaphor for her complexity
The forbidding of reading does not mean she contains no intelligence
Selling her down river will not quiet the voices in her stride
Taking the men that marry her will never change the truth in her matrimony 
With us
Her daughters
She is speaking
Male dominance that never treasured the plight of her brown skin
Or hands that raped the beauty of her smile 
They searched the crevices of her 
Hoping to leave her vacant
They call her the mule of the world
Wrestling in the winter of her own darkness
When will God kiss her dark skin and remind the world that she is beautiful 
So she hopes that swimming in liquids will make her blackness fade 
Her mermaid Africa fins being compartmentalized
Like a chemist she disrupts her melanin maybe the skin in the mirror 
Won’t be so chalkboard looking
Its no longer in her smile
Its in the way she loves her face with the white foaming cleanser covering it
She is speaking
No one seems to be absorbing her cries
To notice her
As something more than that dark corner in the room
They tell her to stop talking about herself
Racism happened years ago
Racism happened years
Racism happened
Where did it go then?
Somehow its been affecting her
Reminding her that she’s stunted sometimes not trusted
Often times overlooked as nothing
But its gone
Someone define this term 
Of making her skin less worthy
She speaks
She wants us to hear her
And her daughters
She speaks to me some nights when 
I listen to the music she created while I laid rumbling in her womb
sounds of rope burning, spiritual lullabying, courage
its sung in the key of c
she always knows the sound of oceans
it’s the inner seashell like sound that rocked her to sleep while crossing rivers
she’s speaking
they tell us we are just angry 
that we should get over it
but these our mothers 
these are our stomachs 
she left marks on us
calls us hers
sounds like whispering
she spoke
we listened
and we never sit silent


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