Introducing Ms Ernestine Johnson with an amazing and moving spoken word performance of her piece, “The Average Black Girl.” You will get chills from this performance.
Johnson taps into all the (stupid) things Black women with common sense hear when they don’t fall into stereotypes–from “you speak so well” to “you’re not like the others.” But what Ernestine does best is flip the script on what it really means to be an “average black woman,” and how she hopes to be one some day.
One of my favorite line goes,
“…the cocoa brown girls who have to face society every day and be tough; ’cause no matter how good they straighten their hair, their good is still just not good enough…”
She goes on to proclaim,
“See, the average black girl that I know, the average black girl that I know were Egyptian queens like Hatshepsut and Nitocris who were ruling dynasties and whole armies of men, excuse me while I set fire to this poem on my pen because I am tired. Tired of the stereotypes black girls have fallen into because of American mentality. Oh, but not half as tired as Ella Baker, Diane Nash, Septima Poinsette-Clark. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, Miss Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates, Anna Arnold Hedgeman, and Dorothy Height are far more tired than I am.” — Ernestine Johnson