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My Miss America: A Poem Inspired by Ernie Barnes
Walking through the California African American Museum, I was stunned to look up and see the oil on canvas, 49 x 37 inches painting. The bright colors and large size only added to the overall effect of this vibrant piece. I took out a pen and wrote this poem immediately. Art inspires art!
My Miss America
"Ain't I a woman?"
She silently and calmly lifts her head.
The epitome of pride and resilience,
She is Black Queen Mother, Earner, Lifter.
Callused hands, muscled arms, strong, sturdy thighs.
Maculated by a world that doesn't understand her.
The ultimate sacrifice,
Radiating dignified beauty.
In stout arms she carries
Bags of shame, anger and oppression.
Silently, chin up;
Eyes on an invisible prize;
Breasts have fed both man and child;
Remembrances of days sexuality fulfilled;
Home, she arrives, silent.
Dark castle knows no king.
She no longer dares to dream.
Knowing the harsh slap of fantasy
She daily lives in reality.
Strength born from faith,
She sacrifices so WE can live.