Tag Archives: language

The Black Woman Cries

Black Woman Cries

A yellow woman approached me

Slanted were her eyes

And asked why she had never seen a black woman cry.

I could answer not her question

And was taken quite aback

Does not every woman cry no matter yellow white or black?

We absolutely do cry.

What else consoles our pain?

We pray for our oppressors and then we cry to calm our shame.

A black woman’s tears are sacred.

They cleanse her as she weeps

But sorrow sends to soil her soul and steadily it creeps.

She cries when she’s with wisdom

There’s none left to do but cry

Her lament surrendered honest, it needs not an alibi.

After pondering the ponder

I believe I’ve found reply

I know why it is you’ve never seen a black woman cry.

Seldom are her whispers heard

Far too often she’s invisible

The world around her seems to think that she’s somehow invincible.

She runs nowhere when she’s wounded

Pain enough to want to die

Silently she suffers as she finds the will to try.

Perhaps you’ve never noticed

Truly coming eye to eye

Maybe that is why you’ve never seen a black woman cry

She cries because she knows

People think she doesn’t cry

And she doesn’t need

or feel

or think

or know

or want

or die.

~Rachelle M. Turple


Filed under Poetry, Women



Picture the ugliest ugly

Even uglier

I’ll make it heavier

Multiply it by 10

So that it really



Imagine something

Grotesque and unpleasant

Repugnant and monstrous

Ominous and loathsome

Sordid and horrid

The revolting stench

of something repugnant

Rancid and rank

Disgusting and putrid

This is the reeking

Reality of hatred

Impetuous rage

Riotous maniacal

Uncontrollably vicious



Hate is



Biting and ruinous

It’s gonna ruin US

It’s screwin’ US

Poisoning US

Nauseating US

Devastating US

Killing US

Rotting us from the outside in

And they say that sex is


Original sin

But way back in Genesis

Abel was slain

And for what?

The jealousy and hatred

Of his own brother Cain






Perverse illegality

Leads to certain


The assured extinction of humanity


Hatred is ugly

But I want you to see


Immorality fiddles up our

Chances at


If that ain’t an incentive to be

Just a little bit righteous

I don’t know what is

But hopefully

This might just…

~Rachelle M. Turple


Filed under Poetry

What of words?


What of words of grandeur

Who knows what the hell they mean

I am writing for my company

Not dancing for the queen

Oh what a pretty price we pay

On big words like constabulary

Most education in this day

Is a waste of good vocabulary

Leaned people teach us

All we need to know

For tending joy and living life

And finding ways to grow

My people didn’t go to school

And learn a fancy talk

They merely lived and freely gave us

Lessons on the walk

They spoke to us in dialect

A language understood

A native tongue of wisdom

Spoken intellect and good

For what good are words of grandeur

Which fall upon deaf ears

And who defines the boundary

Of who even gets to hear

~Rachelle M. Turple

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Filed under Poetry

Proud Tongue


You talk some proud

You sound so white

I’ve heard since I was young

When I was just a little girl

I learned that Gullah wasn’t welcomed off my tongue.

A sea of beautiful

brown faces and yet

we’re the lucky ones

Kept hidden from our races

blind before our sons.

Our lips are bound

with wordless chains

We are made deaf to the drums

The hunger for our past remains

It cannot be undone.

Craving words of wisdom

Hands are reaching for their guns

The hollow clap of emptiness

Echoes in the slums.

And now the suburbs.

Word is mum.

So dangerous our silence

when power fills our lungs;

We’ve been robbed of our integrity

We are weakened.

We are dumb.

Until the tales are opened

and the pendulum has swung

We stand mutely by the by




~Rachelle M. Turple

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Filed under Poetry

Physical Beautiful

Physical Beautiful

Confuse not my outer self with beauty

Dig into the depths of me

The shallows of my arrogance

The misconceptions of my naivety

The candid notions of my youth

Respect my intensity and always yearning for the truth

Know me

Accept my intellectual.

Embrace my inhibitions

Understand me in my modesty

My opinion is not shy

Know that my spirit is not timid

Let my love protect and saturate you

Be baptized within my vision

Know me

Need me to inspire you.

Look into my value

Regard my eyes beyond perception

Let my integrity allure you

Thirst to be my sole companion

Behold the contours of my wisdom

The refinement of my character

Know me

Consider me wonderful.

Find comfort in my loyalty

Be mystified by my bravery

Understand that I am sensitive

Trust and know that I am dedicated

Feel protected by my humility

Be humbled by my maternity

Know me

Acknowledge my maturity.

Love the content of my essence

Be awed within my presence

Aroused by my entire being

I am matrifocal, I am metaphysical

Truly philosophical, respectful of the spiritual

Believe that I am sensual

Know me

And you will find I have surpassed physical beautiful.

~Rachelle M. Turple

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Sweet Vaseline

Sweet Vaseline

Sweet Vaseline

We were
Cocoa Butter babies
with Afro-Sheen dreams
petrolleum Jelly
Sweet Vaseline

Butter caramel complexions
or hazy black blue
deep chestnut amber
opaque onyx hue

No matter the color
It’s all good for you
put some on your acne
She’s good for that too

Or, moisture depraven
split cracking lips
desperate elbows
skin dry as chips

We went from nasty and ashy
rusty to bronze
and all that it took
was to slather her on

Unruly, malicious
beautiful brown
curly delicious
natural crown

For wear anywhere
for skin or for hair
Sweet Vaseline
was our vanity fair

Rub a little bit on
Rub a little bit in
surely took care of
our beautiful skin

Silkingly glowing
shine head to toe
soft and luxorious
beautiful fro

Now yes, we use Keri
and Noxema is fine
Especially when used with the
Venus Divine

We up and moved on
to Intensive Care
and found other products
to lovely our hair

New Cocoa Butter Babies
smell of powery dew
but what was once good for us
is good for them too

Black universal
cultural esteem
we all can remember
Sweet Vaseline

~Rachelle M. Turple


Filed under Poetry

Inspiring The Black Learner.

[in-spuh-rey-shuh n]
1. An inspiring or animating action or influence: I cannot write poetry without inspiration.
2. Something inspired, as an idea.
3. A result of inspired activity.
4. A thing or person that inspires.

What inspires? What calls the young mind into action and sets alight the flame of creativity, original thought, focus or the intention to send something meaningful into the universe?

I believe that for black students, inspiration is as essential to learning as emotion to love. Without inspiration, young minds are not called to action and set to work.
Inspiring black youth can be as easy as introducing them to the notables of old…

Richard Wright was a controversial author, poet and overall personality. In the 20th century his literary contribution to the African American diaspora helped to ignite the spark of change for race relations, or lack thereof, in the United States. By today’s standards, Wright would be considered “gansta” on many levels; He wrote contentious poems and short stories about his thoughts on being black. When he wrote Native Son, he was accused of making the character Bigger Thomas, a statement of white society’s stereotypes and confirming their worst fear of black men. In an already tumultuous, racially charged and conflictual society; Wright was a Black man unafraid of his voice, his power, his masculinity or his Blackness. He was even a registered red card carrying communist.
Richard Wright was a rebel because had the courage, the intellect and the communication skills to vent his frustration of the status quo and subsequently, influence the change he wanted to see to it.
He is a hero because he used words as weapons. Almost a hundred years later, we are still inspired by the historical and sociological impact he made on the literary world. By using his mind, his time and his pen effectively, he was the change that he wanted to see in his world.
Wright was one bad mutha-shut-yo-mouth then and still is today.

I guess my point is that Canadian Black youth are inspired through various contemporary outputs and arguably, much rap and hiphop music are just as lyrical, poetic and socially relevant as anything that Wright ever gave us; He was one of the greats who paved the way but if you think that JayZ, Kanye or Talib Kweli do not understand the significance of Richard Wright or that they have not been lyrically inspired and called to action through the remnants of his social commentary, you must be smoking and not even the good stuff.

Richard Wright is one author of many and to our black learners, we must unmask our literary trailblazers one by one so that their light in the world ignites and inspires the potential in each one of our children.

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite…

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Filed under Black Youth, Education, Literacy