Poetry About Black Women: This article contains a brief list of compelling and fantastic poems dedicated mainly to inspiring a black woman’s strength. Some prestigious poets from across the globe like Maya Angelou and Lucille Clifton searched deep into their lives and their heritage, history and culture, finding some motivational stories to realise who they are and what status they hold in the global community. These prominent writers then transformed the stories into some fantastic poems to share with more people and inspire the coming generation and more black women.
This list contains some best and top-rated poems about women empowerment, the glory and beauty of black women, their complexion and body, and the importance of their culture, heritage, and family.
Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
List of Inspiration Poems on and for Black Women
Here is a list of 10 top-rated inspirational poems on and for Black women:
- Lucille Clifton’s won’t you celebrate with me
- Nikki Giovanni’s A Poem for my Librarian
- Audre Lorde’s A Woman Speaks
- Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman
- Nikki Giovanni’s Rosa Parks
- Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise
- Audre Lorde’s Power
- Maya Angelou’s Woman Work
- Gwendolyn Brooks’ Primer for Blacks
- Margaret Walker’s Lineage
Here is a brief analysis of all these famous and inspiring poems for Black women.
Lucille Clifton’s Won’t You Celebrate With Me
In the poem – ‘won’t you celebrate with me’, Clifton confronts gender inequality and racism. In the first line, the poet calls for the action, asking all the readers to celebrate with her. The speaker, considerably Clifton herself in this poem, or maybe some other women resembling her comes out to be the achiever of some fantastic deals. She lacks all the advantages of money, privileges, whiteness, etc., but still manages to overcome them all. The current and historical society’s gender inequalities fail to repress her and are inefficient in winning the battle to control her life and happiness.
Nikki Giovanni’s A Poem for my Librarian
Giovanni dedicated the poem to Mrs. Long, a local black library Librarian that the poet visited as a young girl. In the poem, Giovanni describes how the Librarian helped her by introducing her to the Literature World. She also briefs about the impact that Mrs. Long’s introduction had on her while she delves her interests. The poem also has some briefs on Giovanni’s World while growing up, including the listing to artists like Nat King Cole and the access to limited television that she had.
Audre Lorde’s A Woman Speaks
‘A Woman Speaks’ by Audre Lorde is an inspirational and powerful poem, giving voice to all those who are often left without it. In the poem, Lorde briefs all the black women living across the US and around other parts of the World. She also looks forward to opening a dialogue related to the feminist movement regarding all the things done and undone for women of colour.
Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman
This poem is also like the other ones on this list and focuses on empowerment. The poem’s speaker is Angelou herself, and she asks younger women to go out in the Real World and “kick-ass”. A woman must go out despite her appearance and background, as the poet says. She also describes herself in the Phenomenal Woman’s some parts, saying that she isn’t cute or built to fit in a fashion model’s clothes. Even after all this, the poet is well aware that society’s norms hardly matter while addressing anyone’s worth. A woman can carry herself confidently, no matter what, and standstill up to a man.
Nikki Giovanni’s Rosa Parks
In this famous poem, Giovanni mentions the Civil Rights movement and its history through protests, court cases, people, and various publications defining it. In the poem, the readers can also track references to the Pullman Porters, Brown v. Board of Education, Gwendolyn Brookes, and Rosa Parks. Nikki Giovanni’s creation is like a prose-poem that takes the readers through images of darkness, light, suffering, and determination.
Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise
‘Still, I Rise’ appears as one of the most popular and top-rated poems of Maya Angelou. In this, the speaker stands up against all the preconceived notions and prejudice of what she must be and what is expected of her. She claims to be valuable and deserving of respect in the poem. The words “I rise” are used extensively across the poem for gaining intensity, and at the end, the speaker proudly accepts, leaving behind her history and nights of fear and terror. The speaker headed towards the light and brought with her the gifts that she got from her ancestors.
Audre Lorde’s Power
The poem depends on real-life events that Lorde heard on the radio while driving. She heard about a white policeman’s acquittal that shot and killed a black boy who was only ten-years-old. This was a horrifying event, and its unfair conclusion inspired her to write this poem for sharing her thoughts within it. The poem also involves several images of “raw gunshot wounds” and a white desert, all stained with blood. She also addressed the case’s jury and focused on how eleven white men defended against one black woman.
Maya Angelou’s Woman Work
In this poem, Angelou depicted a housewife’s life as she carries on her everyday tasks and duties. This woman must take care of her kids, clean the entire house, mend the clothes, and go for shopping groceries. All the tasks of this woman pile up continuously and are present in a long list in the poem. The woman in the poem calls upon the sun, the moon, the sky, and the mountains to take her away from her existence and life’s chores and drop her off into a new and better World.
Gwendolyn Brooks’ Primer for Blacks
“Primer for Blacks” is among the top-rated and most influential poems of Gwendolyn Brooks. In this, she speaks about the essence of accepting a person’s black heritage and unified future resulting from the acceptance. The poet speaks of blackness as a ‘title’ and a ‘commitment’ and is also referred to as a promise that one makes for perceiving glory. The poem depicts how every black person must know their greatness and worth.
The speaker also says that being white is a more straightforward thing in the white culture, so easy that even several black people say the same. But the poet looks down to this perception and knows that nothing else will change unless this belief of all the individual’s changes. Finally, with the conclusion, the speaker raised her voice, demanding for all the people to accept their heritage and race and accept who they are.
Margaret Walker’s Lineage
In ‘Lineage’, Margaret Walker describes the strength of all the speaker’s enslaved ancestors and how they suffered to gain back their strength. All the women with whom the speaker-related either by race or by blood were forced to be slaves and work and die on the farmlands and plantations. The ancestors were powerful, both from body and mind. In the poem’s conclusion, the speaker asks everyone in the modern-day why they are not as strong as they were.
Conclusion on Poetry About Black Women
All these poems are the best and highly motivating ones to inspire all black women to be who they are, accept their race, culture and heritage, and rise and shine in the modern world.
Who is the famous black woman poet?
Angelou is best known for her seven autobiographies, but she was also a prolific and successful poet. She was called “the black woman’s poet laureate”, and her poems have been called the anthems of African Americans.
What is a black poetry?
Black poetry refers to poems written by African Americans in the United States of America. It is a sub-section of African American literature filled with cadence, intentional repetition and alliteration. African American poetry predates the written word and is linked to a rich oral tradition.