Second, I’m half way through my manuscript Dreaming of You. Of course now that I’ve reached the second half, I’d realized I have a convoluted mess on my hands. So I did what I had to. I cut, rearranged scenes, printed the latter half so I can better write and rewrite the story.
Oh wait, guess there’s a third thing on my mind too. I’m doing NaPoWriMo for the first time in a long while. So along with my annual 30 Days of Poetry Love blog project, I’m writing 30 poems in 30 days. And already I’m four days behind.
So excuse me if I’m being much too slow in replying to comments as I have some poems to sketch. In the meantime…
Happy poetry month. It’s day five and for today, I’m doing something a bit different. Today’s poem was not written by Dr. Angelou. Instead it was written by Sojourner Truth and is recited by Dr. Angelou.
I came across the poem I guess you can say during a lucky time. At a precarious time for women to be exact. As well as other races, religions, etc. It seems almost daily we’re bombarded with waves of misogyny. as if to say ‘ha, ha, we’re here. We never left. Just bided our time. Now we can do what we’ve always wanted. And there’s nothing you can do.’ Mocking us for the progressive effort we’ve pushed for and achieved.
Then I came across the poem Ain’t I a Woman? And immediately after #BackWomenAtWork was trending on Twitter last week. Now, it’s true that all women face discrimination. We still are not paid equally to men or else we wouldn’t need Equal Pay Day to address the issue. Also the right for women to vote passed 97 years ago.
But when you’re a woman of a certain race, culture and/or religion, you face another set of discrimination. If you’re a black woman, you’re preconceived as being loud, combative and confrontational. If you’re black or brown you’re most likely to get pregnant in high school. And or have many children with different fathers. If you’re Muslim, you’re a terrorist.
I love this particular poem, recited wonderfully by Maya Angelou, for its rawness. Its simpleness and emotiveness. The title itself is appropriate. It questions the atrocious treatment of black women during slavery. Yet men have proclaimed women as precious beings. A gender deserving to be taken care of, to cherish and respect. So why not her?
You can even bring the question to modern day and ask why we’re still treated differently. Why aren’t all women cherished and respected as they deserved? Why are most men threatened to see us as their equal and try to demonize feminism? Why are we even today dictated over by men in power? Tupac said it best:
You know what makes me unhappy
When brothers make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
Maya Angelou reading Ain’t I A Woman? by Sojourner Truth