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I, Pour

I PourInez S. Canada
00:00 / 04:39

I pour out my heart to you

But you can never understand,

You’re another white lady, another white man

Why do I even bother to open my mouth

I’m just another black girl trying not to be a victim of the South

Harvard educated, yet with you it’s always a surprise

Surprised that I got in?

Surprised that I got out?

I can never tell by the timbre of your voice

Whether you think Affirmative Action got me there

(Or here)

Or whether it was actually by the selector’s choice

Either way Affirmative Action didn’t show up to take my test

Or write my papers, or study for the bar,

by the grace of God, I’ve come this far!

So why do I pour out my heart to you

Who can never, ever understand

How it feels to live in the skin of a black woman or black man?

Our beauty lies in the songs upon our lips

That sing of joy and peace

when the world gives us unrelenting chaos and grief

Our beauty survives in the child upon our hips

That we bring into a sin-stained world

Where we work tirelessly for a brighter, better tomorrow

With patience and hope that our children

Won’t have to endure these sorrows

Our beauty thrives in this black skin

Descendants of Kings and Queens

With dominion over the dirt from which we were formed

We cultivated lands, built pyramids, navigated by the stars

We calculated to predict times and mark seasons

We congregated to give thanks to God from whom all things come

So we pour out our hearts to you

To help you understand

How to celebrate our beauty

Without judgment or sleight of hand

To tell you of our heritage that historians didn’t put in books

Heritage that’s not in rap songs with catchy hooks


Patriotism of Robert Smalls, Hazel  W. Johnson, Martin Robinson Delany;  

he was the first black commissioned Major in Union Army history,

fighting to set his people free


Leadership of Matthias deSousa, George Edwin Taylor, Crystal Bird Fauset;

she rose from educator to first black female state legislator


Scientific breakthroughs of Judy Reed, Thomas Jennings, James McCune Smith - another African American first in medicine

that history would rather jettison

Literary works of St. Augustine of Hippo, Octavia Butler, Mildred Taylor’s - “Song of the Trees;” how many times did America

seek to cash in, cut us down, knock us to our knees


Music with the likes of Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Nina Simone-  “And everybody knows about Mississippi God...”

Yes Ma’am! Ms. Simone! Yes Ma’am!


These are but a few of the myriad of things recorded

Many more lie buried, untold, waiting for the curious, beaconing to the bold


So, we will pour out our hearts until you hear our plea:

“Open your eyes, look past my black skin; see the person God created, the fearful, wonderful soul within.”

© 2020-2021 Inez Canada

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