I finally finished a phenomenal book of spoken word poetry “Black Girl, Call Home,” written and narrated by Jasmine Mans.
I first spotted the Black girl with bold and plastic barrettes pinned in her hair on the book cover in a post on IG.
When I found out it was a book of poems, I was immediately intrigued!
I loved poetry as a kid and I dabbled in writing a few poems myself over the years.
I am a firm believer that poetry is meant to be read aloud to feel its full effect. That is why I decided to listen to it on Audible.
The poetry is so good I had to listen to these poems a second time.
Now let's dive into this review!
Black American poet and artist from Newark, New Jersey, Jasmine Mans delivers powerful poetry that will give you chills.
“Black Girl, Call Home” covers the intersectionality of race, sexuality, home, family, feminism and queer identity and what it means to be a woman belonging and not belonging.
Each poem explores the pain and joys of adulthood living in Newyark and America a queer Black woman.
“This book is a love letter to the wandering Black girl and a vital companion to any woman on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing.”
These poems are delivered with such conviction and each word conveys tenderness and awareness.
Every poem takes a deep dive into the heart of a Black woman.
Every line shook me to the core and stung my ears as it rang true.
Mans examines how the nuances of Black girlhood intersect with rape culture, homophobia, and matrimony across generations.
From the struggle of raising a black son who has to deal with the brunt of police brutality to forcing listeners to take an honest look at rape culture to religious expectations.
Mans evokes emotions that are relevant to the times and touches the soul through bittersweet poetry.
The poetry is truly unforgettable. I’d rate it a 5/5 and that’s not easy to come by.
Top Five Quotes
“Tell me who my mother was before she was my mother,” Mans says, in her poem. “I think that’s a very important thing. Often we see these matriarchs and we never consider that.”
She encourages us to see the whole aspect of a woman and co their identity beyond the lease of motherhood.
“One became scared of her shadow while the other just became one” Mans says (referring to the mother of the murderer and the mother of the murdered) and how it can happen to anyone of us.
Another one of my favorite poems reflects on public figures in the media.
“Jesus never needed adidas to walk
Why is he outlining sneakers when the south side is outlining in chalk” Mans exclaims in Footnotes for Kanye as she examines Kanye West.
He is idolized by Black kids want to be like him even though he is criticized for trading in his “Black card”for whitefolks who polished him.
Mans also addresses the backlash Halle Bailey faced being cast as the Little Mermaid.
“When they tell the Black girl she can’t play mermaid
What their people know about holding their breath underwater” Mans says in a heart gripping voice.
“You are fire
catching its breath.
You embrace failure,
never run from it.
watched you defy,
today, you will become it.”
What was your favorite poem?
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