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I'm Black and I'm Proud: A Poem about self-awareness...

Updated on April 21, 2010

What does it mean to be black?

To buy fake hair just so it can swing down my back,

Or put 26 inch rims on "ice cream" painted Cadillacs?

As a matter of fact, I am black,

And the last I checked, I have none of that;

So these things are accessories but not necessities of being black.

But, we follow the media hype,

So we fall into the stereotypes

Just, trying to fit it in

We go so far as to bleach our skin

And then

Scream I'm black and I'm proud.

Then look down

On those who wish to be more,

Than someone on a poster at a record store.

We define our culture by how we "cope"

Teach our sons and daughters that there is no hope

Watch our ancestors dreams go up in smoke

While we continually sit back and blow dope .

Instead of supporting, we kill each other

Over what neighborhood you're from and your favorite color

And our children are lost because there are no more mothers.


Baby Mamas.

Who thrive on drama

And measure the quality of a man,

By whether or not he drives a Hummer;

And when it all comes back to haunt us

We crawl under,

The safety net of being black.

We don't care, you can call us niggers

As long as we make six figures,

And count money stacks,

As long as you keep designer clothes on our backs

We'll call each other nigger for you.

There is no more need for a KKK

We hate ourselves enough everyday

Then blame the white man for making us this way....

And Scream,

I'm black and I'm proud.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      i really like this poem ... what's the name of the poet

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      what's ur name tho

    • akader profile image


      4 years ago from Algeria

      It is really awsome -more beautiful than beauty itself and so deeply expressive.You have totally summed up the negative views of some people sometimes have towards black people or africans .I m african and proud of the poem you wrote .I see ;as a human being ,there is no diffrence between people all are from adame and eve and created equal. have the same body ,the same soul ,the same human affection ,they feel love and all that any man on earth would feel. colors and language difference do not prove that we are bad or good ones only our humanistic and straight thought and behaviour . the stereotyping always failed in the waste with some the humanity of some outstanding figures such as Mahatma Ghandi ,Martin Luther King ,Elijah and Nelson Mandela and finally the President Obama .These leaders they have taught both whites and blacks who is man and how he should be .

      I love it

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love that

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I am a high school student that would like to perform this poem can you please provide me the authors name

    • profile image

      Camille Aarons 

      5 years ago

      AESMITH, are you the author, and if not can you tell me who is? Would you mind providing your first name? I coordinate a public speaking contest for H.S. students and one of them is performing this piece. We like to have the correct authors noted when possible. Please advise. Thanks!

    • aesmith2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy RedCloud 

      8 years ago from USA


      Thank you for your comment. I think you may have misunderstood the point that I was making. When the I'm Black and I'm Proud phrase was coined there was a lot to blame the white man about. Yes, we had been through slavery and we were dealing with segregation, the civil rights movement and legalized racism. No, racism is not dead and yes, the Europeans have done their share to pretty much every race of color in the world. Let's not forget that they set up colonies in Africa and South America as well. The point that I am making is that WE, African Americans not white Americans have decided that in order to be black we have to be from the ghetto, speak slang wear tight fitting or too big clothing, curse, receive government assistance, smoke weed go to the clubs all the time and hate each other in order to be considered black. I AM black and proud but it bothers me when I'm told I "act white" because I speak correct English and have a college degree. Who decided that being a productive citizen and not enjoying gangster music made me not black? No, it is not okay to blame white people for the situation that we are in right now because there are just as many white people on welfare and living foul as there are black people, and possibly more. You mentioned the plight of the Native Americans. My husband is half Oglala Sioux and his mother, sister and brother still live on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota today. No, things are not easy for them and they don't live in mansions and eat caviar (neither do I) but as far as I know, half of the male Native American population between the ages of 18-35 aren't in prison. Yes, the white man enslaved us and made it hard for us, and yes in many ways they still do. I am not ashamed of our people in anyway. I've been volunteering to help our young people since I was only 19 years old myself. I'm ashamed of the fact that my own people look down on me because I want to help educate my sisters and brothers. I'm ashamed that my husband and I are thought of as stuck up because we work and drive nice vehicles and have nice things but drug dealers who have wayyy nicer things than I do are praised and admired. My problem isn't with the tea party trying to get Obama out of office my problem is that just last week I met a vibrant black woman in her mid-40's who works everyday whose son was in need of help because of drug charge and was told that she couldn't stand for his bail because she's not even registered to vote. You are right that we are all those things you named but so are whites, Mexicans and Native Americans too. I refuse to say that a white man shaped me into anything because it is our history that empowers me. It was people like Martin Luther King and my own father and mother and grandparents who fought and struggled so that I could get an education and so that I could have an opportunity to go to any school I wanted to. I grew up poor and I still don't have much but it is God who sustains me, helps me molds me and shapes me. It was the founders of my sorority who paved the way while the met in secret to found sisterhood for black women and it kills me that so many black women hate each other over some man who doesn't care whether they live or die. Yes, we do need to change the mindset of our people but before we can do that we need to take a look in the mirror and realize that we hold some responsibility all our own. Also, my husband is a soldier, a military police in the U.S. Army my brother-in-law died in Iraq in 2004 and there are a lot of other black soldiers in the army. My grandfather fought in WWII and my uncle was a marine in Vietnam. They are/were not in the military because they were brainwashed or forced to do so. They are in the military because they are strong black men and because they know that there is a need for strong black to fight for this country. Strong black men fought in the Civil War and even the Revolutionary War. Booker T. Washington didn't want reparations from the white man, all he wanted was an education and the only people who honestly don't have that opportunity right now are those who don't know any better. It is our responsibility to let them know and make them better. Yes, it is ashamed that we were made to feel that our hair was bad because it is not like a white girls hair but it is worse think that this is why we wear weaves. We wear weaves to impress one another not white people. Even though we blame whites for the gangster mentality of the blacks, when they put rims on their cars and wear their bling the first thing we say is that they are trying to be black. I respect your comment and understand where you are coming from but I also disagree with you. Knowing your history and learning from it are two different things.

    • profile image

      Marilyn Jackson 

      8 years ago

      To the Author,

      I was with you until you said we blame the whiteman for our faults and demise. The history of the white man is notorious and what he did to blacks and the native mericansis worst than what Hitler did to the Jews. We can blame the white man for kidnapping us from oue native land; we can blame the white man for raping our young 5yearsold daughters and sons; yes we can blame the white man for making human beings with God given rights to become a slave; yes we can blame him for using the same mind control he now use on young soldiers to make them fight a war they knows nothing about. You see, eveything we are; thugs, bums, hoes sluts, faggots, gang members, yes and even scholars, thw white man shaped and mold us into the image he wanted us to be. He was our God, teacher, Preacher. mother and father. This is not giving him any credit, it's telling the truth about a people who was robbed of everything even their mind by the worst man on this planet, yes I said it- the whieman including his sons and daughters. This is why our sons want rims on their cars and black girls are wearing weave and blue contacts. We are imitating our oppressor. Once we understand our history in it's entirity, then we can blame the white man for what he did to us but be able to educate our young people and not be ashame of them. We must push forward and change the mind set of our mentally dead people.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This sentiment has been expressed by notable figures such

      as the late great Nina Simone - "Young gifted and black"

      Angela Davis wore her huge Afro with pride - Then all the black men began to run off with white girlfriends - They big out their chest at their trophy. Many black men are scared to death at the though of having a partner who reminds them of themselves. My personal conclusion -

      If I choose to go Afro, dreadlocks or weave, dye my hair pink and dress like Mother Teresa or the latest MTV chick - its a free county.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I totally agree, Its time to CHANGE!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wat u say i true i feel so ashame of my reading dis it showes me dat i need to change

    • aesmith2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy RedCloud 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thank you so much! You really got the point of what of I was saying. That if we as a culture take a step back we can see the inward destruction that is going on and combat the sterotypes that we teach each other and potray to the world. Change starts on the inside afterall!

    • couturepopcafe profile image


      8 years ago

      I believe this piece moved me more than any I've read in a long time. We try to express a culture or mood or something and it's easy to fall short of the mark but you have hit a home run. I felt so much from "my side of the fence" reading this. Thank you for taking the blame off me. After I'm done shaking and being teary-eyed, I think I'll have a cup of tea.

    • aesmith2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy RedCloud 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thank you so much selektah

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      beautiful piece!!!

    • aesmith2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy RedCloud 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thanks Meka!

    • profile image

      shameka gibson 

      8 years ago

      This poem was well wrighten. I think that the writer did a great job in describing how some of us BLACK people treat one another. It is a crime shame that we betray ourselves in such a manner but it is so true. I can't wait to hear move from this writer.


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