Wilfreda Edward is one of my favorite writers on Medium. She left for a little over two years and is now back with a vengeance. Upon her return, she reached out to me to become a writer for A Cornered Gurl and of course, I was ecstatic to add her. She is starting off this year right by being the featured writer for the month. The piece below is what landed her this spotlight:
For Marley K
Black people need more voices
willing to shout at the darkness
of every sky moving in to
silence us without our knowledge.
We should rally around those
who spit-shine their A-Game and
ready themselves for battle —
Queens and Kings walking on
coal, tipped a mere 10% for
their undying efforts.
One such woman uses her gift
of gab to stab many who have
offended us in the front because
to do so in their backs would
be an act of cowardice.
She is bold and unrelenting,
she has goals that surpass whatever
you think you can dream up,
and she’s unafraid to clap back.
Think you’re cold enough to
waltz in a ring with her when
the topics of racism, social injustice,
and racial divide are on the table?
I’d love to see you try your hand
at pulling up a seat.
I’m betting you. will. lose.
It’s this way for her because
she loves her people.
She goes to war for her people.
She will die for her people.
Draped in every day armor
because the South is a constant
battlefield, this life will
never end — black people cannot
Freeing ourselves is an
ongoing agenda with nonstop
weekly itineraries to keep
They say we aren’t shackled
but they’re still holding
She sees it and calls it out.
For her, covering up
who you really are,
only makes coming after you
Florence Wanjiku is an exceptional writer with a voice that cannot be matched. She is purposeful in her presentation with her work and she is also rather explicit with details. When she emailed me finally (we’d talked previously about her being a writer for A Cornered Gurl) to say she was ready to jump aboard, I had to hide my insane amount of giddiness. I mean, truth be told, I’ve got a writer’s crush on her words, so I am happy to host them in ACG. Florence’s debut piece, “A black woman’s body” (is vogue) is killing it on Medium and I am sure it’ll do the same here as well. So, without further ado, Ms. Wanjiku, everyone . . .
A black woman’s body
They manufacture parts
of a black woman’s body.
Place her under knife and chain
and watch how naturally anesthetic she is.
A dose of her melanin eludes pain, suffering,
The attraction to her otherness
has always been so intoxicating
Her soil forms the earth
making mountains, deserts
and streams places in which her
body has traveled
or being left to dry when she can’t
ward off bees for wanting to colonize
and steal her nectar.
Her body will put women under knife and pain
just to look like her
Her lips didn’t always seem so appealing
but of late they make billionaires out of lip kits
Her skin didn’t always seem so appealing
but of late makes economies
out of spray tans and tanning salons.
Her body has been hated, paraded, used and abused
It was once used to justify why black women
don’t make Vogue
but now, they are Instyle,
they are the Covergirl.
Now, they manufacture parts of a black woman’s
body and place them as crowns on others.
I stretch out my hands to my lover,
my life — he lifts his wandering eyes
up at me, happy to catch my silhouette
still as the nightlife.
This now is a scary place
to be — we linger on each other’s
tongues, hopeful to create passion
in the pique of all pain.
I know he doesn’t really see me —
he looks past this skin, calls me
his caramel, hot-mama, Georgia-Peach
elite. I am his Upper Echelon under
the covers, undercover — hidden
We keep secrets nestled in the grooves
of our aging skin, collecting them
as we meet another year.
I tell him I’d live in his curls if I could —
a universe of wonder for hair.
He smiles. He loves a good
compliment. His full lips
measure the amount of stress
I’ve stored in my collarbone.
By his hands, relief appears.
I pay him in orgasms.
When we go out, our hands
are at our sides, we stand close
but far — close but away from the
scent of each other’s breath.
We feign tolerance of the
stares that follow us.
I nod and smile — nod and smile,
keep my composure.
He tells me the people in this
neighborhood don’t see color and
I worry even more. How can they
know me if they don’t see me?
I fiddle with my newly broken fingernail
and ignore what he says just
for a moment.
We pass time by walking two blocks —
white picket fences fill my eyes.
Election signs for the Elephant
are markers for miles.
“They don’t see color, huh?”
He is silent. He pulls me closer,
latches on to my hand, and
quickens his pace.
I keep step — keep time, my swollen
heart beats faster as we exit
The depth of our essence — this skin
will not protect us, not even
from the colorblind.
I lay in his thoughts — stir myself
deeper as a mixture of lust, love, and
curiosity. He plucks his brain
for a better view of this world.
There is none.
It saddens him to realize this.
I hug him close to me — I knew
what he didn’t.
I prepared myself for it
before we left the house.
Are you eating? The taste may be blood or bread or poison. A poison as another word for kindness.It is of a kind that when counted under fingersleaves the empty bellyfull, leading the tongue from sand.Kneading the open throat till dry,the hunger, to drown. Are you eaten? Do you feed the walls,the walls that, in […]Black Apple
You’ll be happy you visited. Trust me. His work in unique and powerful.