What It's Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren't)

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This poem is an explanation in its finest form of “What it’s like to be a Black Girl (for those of you who aren’t)” by Patricia Smith, it is just that, an explanation. From the beginning of her poem “First of all,” this author gives a sense of a story being told. She uses the jagged sentence structure and the powerful language to show the reader the importance of her topic. Smith’s poem give her audience an insider’s view into a young black girls transition into black woman hood during a time where being a black young girl and a black woman was not very welcoming. Puberty is very hard for both boys and girls biologically their bodies undergo many changes from the age of 8 up until their about 16. For instance when she states, “It’s being 9 years old and feeling like you’re not finished,” writes Smith, “Like your edges are wild, like there’s something, everything, wrong.” (Smith, 4). These thoughts have ran through the minds of many young adolescence going through puberty. However, Smiths subject appears to have many added pressures of a racially jagged society. This “black girl” that she refers to in her poem is definitely feeling ashamed and awkward about her newly changing body and has hopes of something different and maybe better to come of it. This poem is telling us the story of a young black girl experiencing and exploring what it is to become a black woman in her revolving circle of social circle. For instance, “it’s dropping food coloring in your eyes to make them blue and suffering their burn in silence. It’s popping a bleached whit mop head over the kinks of your hair and primping in front of the mirrors that deny your reflection” (Smith,8). When describing the food coloring in her eyes, and the bleaching of her hair is symbolizing her need to grow into the mature more “accepted” form of our society, the white skinned, blue eyed, blonde haired men and

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