Many Black women are raised to give our apparent struggles the stiff upper lip. We’re taught to be loud, and proud, and bigger than the world sees us. And at the end of all of that effort, in my most private and intimate moments, I wish to lay my burdens down. Ain’t I a bottom?
In my own struggle to get sober, I would spend days telling myself that my bottoms were “not that bad.” That the next day I would drink lighter, drink less, have water between glasses. For black gay addicts, we’re pressured at both ends. One of the reasons I’m sober today is because people around me talked about it, they extended their hands and hearts to me without knowing it.
There is sufficient evidence, both from Lorraine Hansberry’s own hand and from those with whom she interacted socially, that she was a lesbian. But the how of it all — that we have to piece together in fragments.
I believe that these eight wonderful poets are the face of reviving the genre. I always want to push poems on people, so I’m also presenting you with some of their recent or upcoming works. Head to your favorite, local, indie bookstore and pick up a few of their collections before Black History Month is over!
When BLK first published, it was a 16 page black-and-white newsletter with a circulation of roughly 5,000. By the time it ended its publication it had grown into a 40 page magazine with full color covers, a paid subscriber base and global distribution reaching 37,000 people. It told our stories. Today, we say thanks.
Four years ago I did the switch from wanting “good hair” to wanting “healthy hair” and went completely natural. This photoessay is a ride of twists and bumped bangs, but I promise it’s a good one. And before you ask: No, I am not tenderheaded.
We want this year’s Black History Month to be serious. But also – sexy, fun, JOYful. We want to reflect the multiple ways that black people see ourselves and walk through our world. And so, we begin here. By writing ourselves back into our own history.