Hard at work on my third book of poetry, tentatively titled, “The Black Feminine Mystique.” It’s a collection of poetry for and about women of color, from myth to reality, from history to my story. Here is one of my favorites, “My Lord, What a Morning” — which is the title for Marian Anderson’s autobiography. About Marian Anderson’s voice, Arturo Toscanini, an Italian conductor and one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, said: “a voice like hers comes but once in a century.”
(For Marian Anderson)
I am Black and proud,
O Daughters of the American Revolution,
Like the soil of Creation,
Like the land of Mother Africa.
Do not look at me with contempt because I am Black.
Your mythology says I am sun burnt,
That my forefathers were cursed.
My forebears sold my ancestors into slavery,
Made generations toilers of the land;
But the land I made great rejected me
When I came up from slavery.
You found other ways to keep me down,
Would not allow me to sing my song
In this land that is mine as well as yours.
My forefathers fought in the American Revolution,
My foremothers supported the Civil War,
My father fought to make the world safe for democracy,
My brother would fight to end all wars.
How dare you not allow me to sing my song!
I will lift my voice and sing,
I will sing a song of sweet liberty,
I will sing so loud the earth will be torn asunder,
I will sing so loud those war dead will rise.
Listen, and hear the angels weep,
Listen, the temple’s curtains have been rent,
Listen, and know that God speaks through me.
Hear my voice, O Daughters of the American Revolution,
Hear my voice and eat your hearts out!