The first ever Black Poetry Writing Month project ends on a day that only comes once every four years. How poetic! It was fun being your hostess, and I would like to thank everyone who participated, liked, commented, reblogged, retweeted, shared on Facebook, etc. Your positive feedback only motivates me to continue this project every February for years to come.
I’m so proud that my inner procrastinator took a back seat and allowed me to post a new prompt every day (it was a struggle some days, especial on the weekends). Over the next year, I’ll explore new ways to make the prompts more interesting and fun so that everyone can participate, whether you are a poet or not, whether you are black or not. Don’t let the “Black” part deter you. Black Poetry Writing Month, Black History Month, Black Lives Matter, Black “anything” does not mean anti-white. As I said in my introductory post, it’s simply a celebration of how far we’ve come and a reminder that we still have much to do.
As I tell my people who complain about Black History Month being in February, don’t let this month be the only time you write a “black” poem. Write whenever you feel inspired. The prompts are still up. You can come back to them anytime. As I did not write a poem for every single prompt, I know I will. If you missed any of the prompts, or if you’re just discovering Black Poetry Writing Month at its close, here they are again:
Write a Poem that Ignites
Write a Poem for the Activist
Write a Poem for the Voter
Write a Poem for Your Elders
Write a Poem for the Lost Soldier
Write a Poem for Your Sons
Write a Poem About an Incident
Write a Poem for the Mask Wearer
Write a Poem in Dialect
Write a Poem for the “Dark Girl”
I want to interrupt the list on a quick side note. For those of you who follow my Sunday Morning Word series, you know I love spoken word poetry. While spoken word is not exclusively black, there is such raw talent, power, and emotion in the way many black poets perform their poems, especially when the subject of the poem focuses on the sometimes uncomfortable issue of race in America.
I came across two poems that closely relate to the prompt about the underappreciated, “ugly” black woman. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to share most (they are equally powerful), so I decided on both. The first is called “Stay Woke.” If you recognize one of the poets in this duo, she’s Kai Davis. I shared another poem of hers in one of my first blog posts—a subject that I return to often: “acting white.”
What do you think? Has anyone else awoken from that performance? Ok, let’s pick up where we left off . . .
Write a Poem for the Weary Slave
Write a Poem for the Community
Write a Poem for the Strong Black Woman
Write a Poem for the Black Orator
Write a Song for the Field Slaves
Write a Poem for the Slave Mother
Write a Poem for the “Don’t Care Negro”
Write a Poem of Double Consciousness
Interrupting the list again. I didn’t forget about the second spoken word poem I wanted to share. While the first one was a very animated performance that had a few laughing moments, this one is much more heartbreaking. Titled, “To Be Black and Woman and Alive,” it is again talking about the self-hatred of black women and the unseen beauty of their bodies. Watch.
I hope one of these spoken word pieces speaks to you today. I hope they inspire you to write a poem that awakens an ignorant world, that admires the beauty in everyone equally, inside and out. Maybe it’ll inspire you to take a dab at spoken word poetry. These women are talented wordsmiths and speakers. I would love to one day perform my poetry as effortlessly as they do.
Now, let’s finish the list of Black Poetry Writing Month prompts . . .
Write a Poem About a “Beverly Hills, Chicago”
Write a Poem for the Cool Kids
Write a Song from the Front Yard
Write a Poem Inspired by Music
Write a Poem that Remembers (Black) History
Write a Poem that Promotes Self-Love
Write a Poem of Self-Discovery
Write a Poem for the At-Risk Youth
Write a Poem to the “Ugly” Reflection
Write a Poem that Starts a Conversation
And that’s it! Thanks again to everyone who participated, spread the word, provided insight, or simply just enjoyed the idea of having a Black Poetry Writing Month. See you next February!
By the way, when NaPoWriMo comes around in April, don’t hesitate to come back to one of these prompts for inspiration. Like I said before, BlaPoWriMo shouldn’t be limited to just one month. 🙂