Works Cited Not Included
An explanation in its purest form of “What it’s like to be a Black Girl (for those of you who aren’t)” by Patricia Smith, is just that, an explanation. From the first three syllables “First of all,” the author gives a sense of a story being told. She uses jagged sentence structure and strong forceful language to also show the reader the seriousness of her topic. Smiths poem gives the audience an insider’s view into a young black girl’s transition into black woman-hood at a time where both being a black girl and a black woman was not as welcomed.
Puberty is usually defined by the biological changes a young boy or girls body undertakes around the age of 9 up until about 14. “It’s being 9 years old and feeling like you’re not finished,” writes Smith, “like your edges are wild, like there’s something, everything, wrong.” (Smith, 4) These thoughts have run around the minds of almost every puberty stricken youngster. However, Smiths subject seems to also have the added pressures of a racially jagged soci...
first of all, it’s being 9 years old and
feeling like you’re not finished, like your
edges are wild, like there’s something,
everything, wrong, it’s dropping food coloring
in your eyes to make them blue and suffering
their burn in silence. It’s popping a bleached
white mophead over the kinks of your hair and
primping in front of mirrors that deny your
reflection. It’s finding a space between your
legs, a disturbance at your chest, and not knowing
what to do with the whistles, it’s jumping
double dutch until your legs pop, it’s sweat
and Vaseline and bullets, it’s growing tall and
wearing a lot of white, it’s smelling blood in
your breakfast, it’s learning to say **** with
grace but learning to **** without it, it’s
flame and fists and life according to Motown,
it’s finally having a man reach out for you
then caving in
around his fingers.