And maybe black girl magic stemmed from our ability to become vanishing acts.
To disappear with the night
or with the turn of someones cheeks.
To go without a sound.
Without a word.
Without nobody seeing nothing.
Nothing other than the fact that she was black.
Seeing just enough to contort a story that sounds more like consent.
Even though “Stop! Don’t touch me” don’t sound much like consent.
But didn’t nobody ever ask a black girl permission for her body anyways.
To society she be more product than person.
And everyone knows a commodity can be sold to the highest bidder.
Or stolen by the most entitled ego.
Stolen from a homeland
or stolen from their future possibilities
or stolen from their innocence.
This type of magic be an inheritance none of us asked for.
The part no one wants to acknowledge.
Instead we say things like
“My skin absorbs sun rays and my hair defies gravity of course I am magical.”
“Black Women are made of brown sugar, honey, cocoa, and gold.”
When really we mean black women are made of inherited fear,
the art of fight,
and the ability to disappear
all held up with a strong backbone
bent under the weight of a nation trying to bury them.
A nation killing off the parts of them they think too much to manage
and selling the desirable bits to any culturally appropriating celebrity in need of a trend booster.
Trying to make us think that they do black better than us.
That it look better on a white woman.
That we aren't even needed anymore.
Turn our pearls into a noose so it seems like you aren't the one manning the rope.
Like you aren’t the one pulling the trigger.
Turning me into another face not worthy of the movement
because a black girl don’t make a good enough news story.
No one expected her to have a happy ending anyways.
They thought if they ignored her long enough she would just go away.
She would just disappear.
Because isn’t that all a black girl is good for anyways.
Being a body then vanishing when she is no longer convenient.
I guess it’s easier to go without a sound when you were never given a voice in the first place
Added: Monday, June 24, 2019 / Used with Permission.
Aniyah "Ani" Smith is a DMV native but New York based poet, singer, and performer. Ani is a two-time DC Youth Slam Team member and competed at Brave New Voices in San Francisco and Houston. She has earned many accolades. These include being the 2018 DC Youth Poet Laureate, 2018 DC Youth Slam Grand Slam Team Champion, a member of the 2018 Louder Than a Bomb-DMV winning team, and the 2017 National Book Festival Slam Champion. She attends the American Musical and Dramatic Academy where she is pursuing a theater degree.