In tribute to poetry month, I decided to highlight an anthology that is near and dear to my heart. Edited by Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmonds and Jamila Woods, the second volume of The BreakBeat Poets introduced me to several talented Black Women Poets that I continue to follow today. The review below was originally posted on GoodReads on February 7, 2018.
I remember when I first heard Sonia Sanchez speak – the cadence of her voice, the punctuated rhythms of her staccato verse. Like a full bodied wine, the flavor of her words lingered. My body hummed. Somehow she knew my story. She was a griot dispensing a herstory of resilience, defiance and strength. The black woman instead of being confined to one singular definition was appreciated as a diaspora of resplendent colors each owning her individual experience. I walked away that day feeling as if the mantle of power had been passed.
Nikki Giovanni, Audrey Lorde, Rita Dove, June Jordan, Ntozake Shange, bell hooks, Sapphire, Maya Angelou. Reading their words is like a baptism of water and fire. I am cleansed. I am renewed. I am filled.
Black Girl Magic is written in this rich tradition. Edited by Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmond and Jamila Woods, this anthology continues where Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop left off. This second volume addresses the oversight of African-American women’s contributions to the art that is Hip Hop and fills this void with resounding pieces that rejoice in the splendor and beauty that is the Black woman. These new voices declare that our story is not history but a glorious future filled with hope and promise.
Brief But Spectacular by Mahogany L. Browne
Instead of my usual photograph, please enjoy this living testament of Black Girl Magic: