Not an anomaly

Poem written for Black History Month

by Bri Branscomb, Assistant Editor

When I was younger,
I didn’t know what it meant to be black

To me, it felt like I was always under attack

Like I was an ant

And the world was holding a lens

So that the more light poured in

The deeper the hole got burned into my head


Because it didn’t matter what I did

Or what I said

Or who I proved myself to be

Because all they ever saw
Was the stereotype

Interwoven in my genes


Because I was expected to fail

And in the instance I should succeed

Then I wasn’t just good

I was an anomaly


Because I would always be black

But I could never just be me


It got to the point where I prayed for something about me to change

Where I killed my hair everyday
But it always stayed the same

Where I covered up who I was

Because I was ashamed
Because there must be something wrong with me

If they hated me this way


But then,

My perspective shifted

Where I had once seen a burden

I now knew I had been gifted

Where I had once seen hardship

I saw heritage

And where I had seen ugly

I now saw a whole new narrative


I come from the blood that has written history

From the Parks that sowed the seeds

To the Kings who reigned

In the faces of adversity

I am the product of generations who had determination

In spite of discrimination


I’m a black girl living in a very white world

And that can be lonely

But I know when I get knocked down

That there are hands that will pick me up

And arms that will hold me

And that I will not be silenced

Because my voice echoes those that have come before

Because I am not one to be disregarded

Or to be ignored

Black History is not one of oppression

It is one of strength

And courage

And the drive towards progression


Being black isn’t something that seems bad to me anymore

It’s what makes me beautiful

And gives me the power to roar