Posted in Blog, Mental Health

I’m a Pro-Black Rock Chick; Why Is That A Hard Concept to Grasp?

I grew up listening to rock and indie music, not because I grew up in a white centric environment, but because it was the music I grew up with and resonated with my own narrative. My father loved rock music and most of my favourite bands now are many of his own favourite bands. I even have some of his old LPs which I managed to salvage from the collection my mum threw out after he left.

 

When I suffered from bullying because of racism last year, I was extremely conflicted by my music choices. For the first time in my life, I began listening to hip hop music; for the first time in my life, I realised that white men like Thom Yorke and Robert Smith were not the same colour as me and probably didn’t care about me, perhaps didn’t even care about racism and what fans like me were going through as a young Black woman. As you’re reading this, if you’re white you’re probably saying/thinking

 

“what does race have to do with it?”

 

“why does it matter that I am a different colour to these bands? Or from a different culture?”

 

Well it does. Especially when you are constantly being abused for the colour of your skin and told that you don’t belong.

 

I say this time and time again and I will forever say it: Kendrick Lamar literally saved my life last year.

IMG_20180622_163026

One of my tattoos (The Blacker The Berry, by Kendrick Lamar)

 

I had always been a fan, but I had never really sat down and listened to his lyrics, until I went through what I went through last year; he spoke to me in a way a musician had NEVER spoken to me before; he allowed me to be unashamedly angry for the first time in my life. Another rapper I find similar to Kendrick so resonated with is Open Mike Eagle: he also speaks about violence against the black community and how his perceptions of blackness have developed from childhood to adulthood. I love him because he’s a great storyteller as well as visual artist. I never knew that hip hop could do this, probably because I’d never given it the chance; throughout my childhood, my mother had always told me that Tupac was just a thug, until last year I discovered he was a better poet than any of the classics I’d taught as an English teacher.

 

For many months, I stopped listening to rock music, and invested my time into hip hop, because these were people who looked like me and could see where I was coming from.  However, recently I’ve now found a good balance where I can still enjoy my rock and indie music, while also embracing hip hop (old and new), so essentially marrying the new me with the old me, and while my black comrades have finally fully embraced this, because they can still see that I’m a pro-black woman who just fucking loves music from different genres, many white people – including my girlfriend – find it difficult to wrap their heads around this concept. I’ve been accused by white people of giving them a free pass for racism because I listen to “white music”; that I’ve forgiven white people for the racial torture they frequently put me, and my brothers and sisters through, just because I’ve started listening to The Cure again and am currently obsessing over DIIV (both white rock bands). Listening to rock music, also doesn’t mean that I’m going to visit some white artist at the Tate (Jenny Holzer), just because she thinks her anti-patriarchal art is progressive, when she refuses to acknowledge intersectionality in her “progressive” feminist pieces.

 

WTF?

 

Listening to rock music doesn’t make me any less pro-black; it doesn’t change the fact that I think that all white people are born with racial biases and many are unwilling to accept that they are born with privilege. In fact, I find it beautifully ironic that every day as I walk through the streets of North West London, I am being judged for the colour of my skin and sometimes verbally and physically abused, whilst listening to Led Zepplin or Roxy Music on my phone through headphones. Which is why when white people say to me “colour doesn’t matter” well actually it does because white people perceive me as lower and “other” just because of the colour of my skin and furthermore, I AM FUCKING DIFFERENT TO YOU so have some respect for my skin colour and culture by recognising that. However, the irony of othering me while I’m listening to the bands you also may like, is that we still have things in common which most white people refuse to acknowledge.

 

I cannot change who I am, God knows I’ve tried. However, the point I’ve now come to is that I am no longer ashamed of who I am. I’ll always be a rock chick, but I’ll also always be pro-black.

XOXO

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Posted in Blog, Poetry

What Is Love?

Love

Loses its shine, like unpolished wood

 

Only lasts for as long as you feel it

Like butterflies in a case, bouncing against the walls

Eventually they must be set free

 

Varying in intensity

So uncertain, so if you do not feel it

Like yesterday

Then perhaps it was never love at all

 

Endless neurosis

Catching you off guard

When you think it is safe to breathe

 

Love

Loses its shine

Because the sun eventually stops shining

Posted in Poetry

Disappointment

Disappointment

A tasteless frozen pizza from a wood oven restaurant.

 

The only Black face in a sea of staring hostile pale faces who simultaneously ignore your presence.

Disappointment.

 

A ringtone on loud in the middle of your meditation.

A refund with no apology because white privilege makes mistakes and we all have to bear the cross.

 

Disappointment

Those two ticks to show you’ve been acknowledged but dismissed.

Message received loud and clear but in through one and out the other.

 

Disappointment

Waiting on you as you ride up that hill an hour late;

Watching as you finish that pointless youtube video instead of helping with the housework

I’ve become a Victorian housewife as I holler about the fucking cobwebs and dishes

 

Maybe my ailments will put me out of my misery like a Victorian orphan.

 

This is adulthood.

 

Constant fucking disappointment.

 

©The Wallflower Speaks Loudly, 2018
Posted in Blog, Poetry

They Were My Babes

 

They were my babes

But you called them retards

Because of your black hearts

They called me fam

Coz God had a plan

They were my babes

But you gave them hell

Coz they were under my spell

You treated them like savages

Like discarded packages

They were my babes

But I was torn away

In that black month of May

Like a mother torn from her babes

They were my babes

They were my babes

I still bear the scars

But no longer are they a mask

To cover the miscarriage

The racial attack and injustice

Of when I lost my babes

Resilence

 

XOXO

Posted in Poetry

Grievance

Grieve for my former self

No tears every day

But grieve

Yes grieving

Every day

No more early mornings

Or “Ms Noel

Holocene walks

Teaching plans

But now so much time….

Tick… tock… tick… tick…

Miss running

To Kanye’s Workout Plan

Miss running

Feel it in my gut

Wish to run away

Grieving

For my consciousness

So vivid, so lucid

Sometimes it’s mine

Sometimes it’s where? 

Posted in Poetry

Dream Killer

INTRO: This is a poem I wrote a couple of months ago, so it’s been on paper for a while. I just haven’t felt ready to share it. I’m less angrier now than I was then, so I’m definitely in a slightly better place mentally, BUT although I have new dreams, like I said before my soul will always remember. I hope you enjoy it and please do share your thoughts. 

 

I arrived at the gates
With my ebony tan,
Ready to become the tawny owl
I had always dreamt of becoming.
My excitement puzzled you;
My endless excitement,
My enthusiasm,
My dedication.
“Why are you always smiling?”
You are asked. “Why not?” was my reply.
Every rung on my career ladder had led me to this
castle – you only have to look,
Look at my credentials!
By half term my owlets thrived,
My solar energy transposed to them,
For the subject I had always loved.  
Then
The rumours began…
Mahogany was out of place.
By winter, my skin had become burnt sepia,
As the venom continued to trickle
Through the ice.
It soon became clear that this castle
Was also your desert,
Where you gradually stole my warmth,
Layer, after layer, after layer.
I stood on trial,
against an invisible jury.
And time, after time, after time,
You told this owl to change her identity.
I was the embarrassment
With my attitude, my clothes, my hair.
In your lair, you unleashed
Your venom,
And drained the life from my very dreams.
What do you see?
When you look in the mirror?
I’m sure you see the pure, Christian angel.
Or do you see the sheer, spiteful fiend?
That I perceive.
The dream killer
Who destroyed my vision,
Destroyed my future.
The dream killer,
Legless,
Heartless,
Thoughtless.
Who turned this young,
Tawny owl,
To old, hard,
Mahogany wood.

Demon at the Gates

Posted in Poetry

The View from My Window

The view from my window 

Reminds me of what I cannot do.

It’s of the courtyard I’m too tired to nap upon

Because my bed is closer and more familiar –

Its muscular arms hold me and rock me to sleep, 

As I cry out the memories of days I used to 

Be able to run around at a moment’s notice. 

The window in front of me is wide open,

Yet shut to tomorrow’s possibilities. 

I must re-evaluate the view from my window.