On this first Wednesday of Black History Month I wanted to write about the amazing Black women who came before me. This is dedicated to:

Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Ida B. Wells, Phillis Wheatly, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, my mother, Wendy Battles
And the thousands of others who put pen to paper and paved the way.

Thank You

I would not be able to write without you
I would not be able to write about being

A mother, a child
A lover, a fighter
A victim, a survivor
A teacher, a student
A woman

A Black woman

I would not be able to write about any of that
Had it not been for the women who came before me
I would not have a passion to write
I would not have a fire burning inside me

If I hadn’t read the words you wrote long before me
If you had never spoken
I would not have known I had a voice to speak with
I would not have wanted to speak

If I hadn’t heard your voices first

And to those way, way back
Way before then
Back when we weren’t allowed to write
Back when we weren’t allowed to read

Back when we were supposed to be animals
Caged and unfree
Those women, especially
I thank you

I thank you for giving me
The opportunity to be me

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