Black Art, Black Lives, Black Women …

Sister Gertrude Morgan, the street preacher used whatever she could find to paint on beauty made from trash to teach the Word.

Augusta Fells Savage, beaten as a child for sinning.  Her sin?  Sculpting clay animals.  And still she worked.  She worked to share her vision.  Her vision took her to Rome and Paris and back again to teach, to create, to better, to live.

Maya Angelou painted with words, with rhyme, with line, with stanzas.  Maya Angelou who showed us all—phenomenal women, we—our worth.  It’s in the span of our hips.

Octavia Butler, the 2-fingered typist who ignored the rules and created Nebulan societies for us to ponder and dream.  “Negros can’t be writers!”

Say their names!
They all dreamed
and created
and left their mark in art
and are now in    
a better place.  Say their names!

Sandra Bland
Rekia Boyd
Mya Hall
Megan Hockaday
Yvette Smith
Tarika Wilson
and seven-year old Aiyanna Jones,

taken from us before they could share their gifts.  What have we done?  What might have been?

Say their names!
They all dreamed,
but their marks were carved by violence.  Wasteful.
Waste through ignorance, through fear, through misogyny.
Gone far too soon, all of them.  All of them
are now in
a better place.  Say their names!

Say them with righteousness,
with love, with strength.
Say them loud enough
to reach the ears of the dreamers
gone before them.  Say their names!



Patricia Gomes is the current and first female Poet Laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts and is loath to write her bio. Simply put: she writes, she’s writing, she continues to write; she’s interesting, she’s interested, and continues to be of marginal interest to those with a taste for absurdities. Recent publications include: Iodine Poetry, A Little magazine, Oddball Magazine, and Goreyesque.


Edited for Unlikely by Rosalyn Spencer, #BlackArtMatters Guest Editor
Last revised on Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 17:34