The Melanin by Kay Ann Henry

Black Outer Space...

The Black race is so magical
and it really shows how wonderful God is
He made us in different shapes, sizes and hues
The pigment of our skin was never an issue
Yes we were once segregated but color was never the problem
It was about wealth and power until someone brought up the tint of our skin
They enslaved us with this mindset and now some of us adapted it too
Our ancestors wouldn’t like this
They would not be proud
Of this colorism that exists
They taught us that lighter is better
That your dark skin is not suitable
They slander us for our features yet they lust after it
This systematic thinking has our men slandering us too
But I’m here to declare that this must not happen
We can’t let it be true
Black men and women are synonyms
We are carved in the same beauty
and without one, the other can’t exist
So my people, let’s not conform to their standards
Let’s appreciate the melanin we were born with
No matter the shade
Light-skinned, dark-skinned- doesn’t matter
We’re all comprised of mahogany, ebony, caramel, chestnut, coffee and sienna
We can be as dark as the midnight sky
or brown like honey
There is history etched into our skin
Not just slavery, but years of excellence and grace
We are reminiscent of the chocolate that warms cold nights
And we have stars tucked neatly under our bones
We are Black
That means we represent depth, strength, elegance and nobleness
We are Black
That means we are light-filled
Let’s not let the glaring whiteness replace the beauty we have.

Written by Kay -Ann Henry

Yusimi Moya Rodriguez doing an Orisha Yemaya dance

Yusimi Moya Rodriguez is a professional dancer educated on Arts University in Havana, Cuba. She has been working for several years at the state-run “Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba” (also known as “Ballet Folklorico”) and the private dance company “Ebony”. In her videos she is giving insights into the world of contemporary dance in Cuba and its unique technique,  African traditions,American modern ballet and Creole popular styles, and focuses on afrocuban dance traditions.

The Making of a Queen

Keri

From the deep, she’s been drawn
Meticulously positioned like a diamond, a stunning stone
She’s not alone
God sees from the throne
Who she’s created to be
If only she could see, her image of a Queen

She’s been beautiful since the day of her birth
Yet disregarded her very own worth
She’s a prize hidden in the earth
She’s been recovered like
A lost soul, like a missing piece of china, a lost sheep
Many nights she’s cried herself to sleep
She’s been through the fire
Beat down and burned
Yet she still inspires

She shines, standing purified from the heat
And through her testimony, many stand to their feet
She’s a light atop a mountain
Gaining strength from God’s fountain

Thought to come in last
At most win bronze
She’s more bold than most men know
Giving and kind; a champions heart of gold
She’s a gem, a rarity
She extends her arms to charity
Although not raised in prosperity
Her soul is filled with knowledge
And deep down she has clarity

Beautiful and tall
She smiles even in agony
Stress presses against her abdominal wall
But she continues to shine
Like a precious stone trampled to the ground
She fights through the cuts and the scars
Washes the dirt; she’s alive, still around
She’s determined to dance, find success

She struggles to love what she sees
Thinking her reflections a disease
But she looks to her Guide; she’s His beautiful bride
Molding and rebuilding the broken pieces inside

No matter the hurt and cruel jokes
She aims to reflect the perception of a Queen
She’s been ridiculed and poked
Thought of the end
But her life, He was not ready to suspend
She’s bowed down enough
Cowered low, didn’t play tough
She’s more powerful than she knows
Humbly took the blows
Been brought low
But she waits at home
To be swept away
She wishes that day could be today
But she patiently waits for tomorrow
For her best friend and mate
To help heal the abyss of her sorrows

Like a shattered glass
She should be cracked
But she’s learned to take cover
Until the storms pass

The Son is rising inside
Breaking the chains
Despite labor pains
She’s birthing new thoughts
Giving way to His character
Thinking thoughts of praise and on what is true
She’s a woman of virtue

She climbs high
No more compromise
She’s gonna fly, like the bird in the blue sky
Press till she wins
Fight the temptation to be oppressed and depressed; she won’t give in
Not forsaken or mistaken
She’s a queen in the making!