Skip to main content

Black Woman


Black woman
         Black woman
Black woman

Why you gotta be so strong, huh?

What is it about your make up
Your makeup
          Your make up

That makes you care so much
That makes you love so deep
Your black people?

Black woman
          Black woman
Black.

     Black.

           Woman.

Why you gotta go to war, huh?

Why you gotta wave the flag?
What is it about your swag
That speaks power in the midst of defeat?--

That undermines toxic masculinity,
Even when it’s your brother?

With your body
You turn a pew into a pulpit--
A kitchen into a bible study--

Because your call for justice was never selfish.
It was never exclusive.
There is no cognitive dissonance in your
          proclamation of freedom.

     Black Woman
Black Woman

          Woman

               Woman

                    Woman


What is it about the way you
stir that cake batter in the basement
that saves our souls
long before the Black preacher man ever could?

Black Woman

       Black Woman


What is it about the way you lift your hands
and wave your white handkerchief
that makes us wanna
see Jesus face to face screaming:

“Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”


Black Woman!

     Black Mama,

   Black Auntie,

         Black Sister,

    Black Daughter,

Black Grandma,

    Black Mary:



What is it about the way you stretch your arms
in a powerful stillness
that lets the world know that
ALL black lives matter--
not just the ones who are respectable
not just the ones who conform to a gender binary
not just the ones who love each other in a specific way

But that your wingspan,
   Black woman,
your wingspan
is big enough
for all of us--

that your wingspan

          your wingspan

                    wingspan

is big enough to save us all
to love us all

Black Woman

What is it about the way you cradle us
Even when no one cradles you?

“Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks...”

The black woman falls.
     She falls.

Black woman.

What's in it for you, huh?

What’s in it for you?





Written and performed by Mia Michelle McClain
for the Womanist Proclamation and the Arts course
at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
May 2018.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"We Thought You'd Be Next." 💍👰🏾🤪

Recently, my little brother got engaged. 🎉 But can I just say, Hashtag Triggered?! 😑
I was very thrilled that he finally proposed to his now fiance and that I absolutely love her. She is so sweet and brings goodness into his world. I'm so excited for them. However, during my last trip home to New Orleans, a family member was chatting with me about it and asked about my relationship, and then proceeded to say,
"I thought you'd be next." 😣
B*TCH, ME TOO! DAMN!
I did not say this aloud as I was in my father's house (#shondo #imchurchy), but everything in my body tensed up. Every hair stood up on my boiling skin and my heart began palpitating as I attempted to calmly explain why I wouldn't "be next" while simultaneously trying not to burst into tears in front of company. I started rambling about my burgeoning career--about "our" careers--and attempting to refocus the conversation while wanting to jump into the large pot of red beans simmer…

It's Cheaper To Die

This past December, I sat down with my checking accounts after my rent was paid, and I added up all of the past due medical bills that had been piling up for months (some, for years). I deduced that I had the funds to finally pay off the $500+ of unpaid bills--bills from the colonoscopy I had in 2014 and the biopsies I got done in November (nothing malignant was found). I was so proud of myself for paying off my medical bills at the end of the year. It felt like a tiny weight of debt was lifted from my aching back.
In January, however, I got slammed with a new set of unexpected and hefty medical bills and, honestly, my friends, it's cheaper to die. 😶
When you go to the doctor or dentist these days, there is a lot of lack of clarity about how much things cost. I knew I'd have to pay for some of the colonoscopy and x-ray, and I did so up front, but I wasn't expecting the unexpected remainder that my insurance suddenly decided not to cover to slap me across the face with th…

It's Not "Goodbye;" It's "See Ya Later."

Early Monday morning--after getting off the phone with my therapist (Hey Girl!)--I put on my big girl pants, opened my laptop, and typed a letter to my bi-costal acting manager stating my departure from the industry and, thus, his management company. It's been a long time coming. As I've continued to grow in ministry, I've become more and more selective about the projects I've auditioned for, even turning down a few things here and there in order to focus on my "call." My manager is so sweet and supportive, and has stuck with me as I've wrestled with this call into ministry (since 2015). As doors have continued to open up in academia, ministry, and beyond, I thought it best to bow out gracefully (for now).

I'm truly grateful to have been able to share my life with thousands of people across the world--to perform on tours and do shows in amazing cities. I am a better preacher and minister because of my wonderful experiences in the theatre. I still ac…