Amandla Stenberg is one of the more eloquent young voices when it comes to discussing topics on race and identity. She’s admitted being her true self is “hard and vulnerable, and it’s definitely a process,” and says that we are meant “to be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow.”
Following in true Stenberg form, she shared some pointed words yesterday for World Poetry Day that expose that vulnerability she’s spoken on. Broken into two sections, the first, titled “What Is the Misfortune of the Minority Mistress?” addresses not only the complexities with understanding her own body and sexuality, but the struggle to do so in a society that normalizes a very narrow view of beauty.
I have understood the body of a white woman
Before I have understood my own
I’ve memorized Pink Purity
And learned Dysmorphia because I am Different.
The second portion ends on a brighter note, perhaps signaling inner reconciliation or a greater understanding of self. Titled simply “But,” it reads:
I have been gifted with a sacred unraveling.
There is power in unearthing my limbs for myself.
Stenberg calls the poem “some thoughts on my consistently shifting relationship w my body/feeling shame for black sexuality,” and boy does she say a lot on that topic in six simple lines that are big, bold, and not easy to swallow.
A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on