Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases a video of the spoken word "Black Girl Blues" by MasterPiece Poet.
Partial lyrics of this spoken word poem are included in this post along with editorial notes about some of the references in that poem. This post also includes brief information about MasterPiece Poet, as well as selected comments from this video's discussion thread.
The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to MasterPiece Poet for her powerful spoken word "Black Girl Blues". Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to All Def Poetry, the publisher of this post on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT MASTERPIECE POET
MasterPiece the poetess was born in Dallas, Tx. She also lived in Arizona for seven years while studying Theatre Arts and Business Administration at the University of Arizona. She began performing and acting at the age of 6 and also discovered a love for poetry at 13. Her passion for poetry and performing arts has inspired many people. The debut album Mind of MasterPiece introduces a new genre of music coined by MasterPiece herself: rhythm and poetry. The cd chronicles her story through powerful words, emotions, rhyme, thought provoking lyrics and smooth rhythmic music that has a hint of hip hop, soul, and jazz all mixed into one. Fans recognize her as a dynamic writer with poise, talent, and beauty. She continues to maintain a balance between the arts and business by being an extraordinary poet/performer and business woman. Her hobbies include basketball, dancing, cooking, designing webpages, traveling, and watching movies. Her poet name MasterPiece stems from the idea that all artists strive to achieve and put forth their best work possible. It is a metaphor for a successful artist."...
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Masterpiece Poet - "Black Girl Blues" | All Def Poetry x Da Poetry Lounge
All Def Poetry Published on Aug 19, 2015
Subscribe for more poetry! http://bit.ly/alldefpoetry
....All Def Poetry is a new channel brought to you by Russell Simmons - a world-renowned champion of the spoken word art form. Fresh, riveting, and featuring some of the best voices in the genre, All Def Poetry brings you the raw power of spoken word! #AllDefPoetry
SELECTED LYRICS FROM THIS SPOKEN WORD
[1:22- 1:39 of this video]
Black girl, free yourself.
And when you fly
Tell ’em Fannie Lou Hamer sent you.
Tell ‘em, you are your own queen.
Tell ‘em your brown suga maple syrup can't be bought off shelves.
Tell ’em dark don’t mean dirty,
Nappy don’t mean nasty.
Loud don’t mean ratchet.
Bold don’t mean problematic.
[2:07-2:39 of this video]
We have a purpose here.
You can’t take that away.
You can’t Emmett Till our sons no more.
You can’t 16 Street Baptist Church burn our bodies no more.
You can’t walk up in the church and shoot us in prayer no more.
You can’t kill us in the jail cell and call it suicide no more.
This ain’t open season.
Black girl, you are brick.
You are mortar.
You are designed.
You are ceiling.
More than just measurement.
Raise your head.
This Black girl ain’t got no Blues tonight.
You be you.
In your Blues you beautiful as you wanna be.
Dark eyes, thick thighs, we don’t need to apologize.
These words flow together in rhythmic form. I added the spacing for reading clarity only.
I'm sorry for any mistakes in this partial transcription. Any corrections are welcome.
Here's information regarding some of the historical references in this excerpt of "MasterPiece Poet's "Black Girl Blues" spoken word:
"Fannie Lou Hamer ... October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist, civil rights leader, and philanthropist. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi's Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the vice-chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey."...
Regarding why she was a civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer said “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
"The 16th Street Baptist Church is a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, that is frequented predominantly by African Americans. In September 1963, it was the target of the racially motivated 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four girls in the midst of the American Civil Rights Movement. The church is still in operation and is a central landmark in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006."...
"Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman...
Till's body was returned to Chicago. His mother, who had mostly raised him, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. "The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy.
...Till's murder is noted as a pivotal catalyst to the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement."...
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS SHOWCASE VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
These comments are given in chronological order based on their publishing date-except for replies- with the oldest comment given first. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.
1. Kendrick-Kamau “StreetPolitik” El-Negasi
"This is one of the dopest poems I've heard in a long. She had the wordplay and righteous aggression spelled out for you, undeniably witty but easy to digest with urgency like milk to a babe."
"dopest" = African American Vernacular English term meaning "the very best"
2. MasterPiece 
"+Kendrick-Kamau “StreetPolitik” El-Negasi Thank you so much!!!"
3. Kendrick-Kamau “StreetPolitik” El-Negasi1 month ago
"+MasterPiece no problem, thank you for creating & sharing."
"said the woman wearing a weave"
"weave" (hair weave) = real or fake hair that is woven or glued to person's real hair to add length and/or fullness. (also called "extensions")
5. Jamesha Michelle
"Excuse you, but a hairstyle defines nothing."
6. Kai Jolly
"What the [profanity deleted] does that have to do with anything?"
"+lobster0right She can do what she want with her hair!"
8. Monkey Teeth
"+Jamesha Michelle you can't have it both ways! You can't recite verses about the veneration of black women and the uniqueness of the black women while simotaneously wearing the hair texture of a white women...some serious self worth issues going on here"
"+Monkey Teeth my niece is dark as night, but she was born with straight black hair, she's 8 now, and my friend her hair is still straight, never been touched by a perm, nor a flat iron or a pressing comb. her mom mainly did her hair, and her mom got thrown in prison on drug charges, so if it was nappy someone needed to do it, because white European hair as u claim, we all know can fix itself, just as soon as they get out of bed."
10. wild heart
"+Monkey Teeth What do you mean? She is clearly a black woman who loves herself unapologetically. Plus Black women get judged for whatever they do with her hair. Black women should be able to do whatever they want with it without being criticized."
11. Kai Jolly
"+wild heart I agree."
12. Velvet Velours
"+Nae2588 that's your niece. 90% of black people do not have naturally straight hair"
13. Kai Jolly 
"+Zhang Yixing But some of them do lol.
It appears that Zhang Yixing is another screen name for Velvet Velours.
14. Dana Newman 
"+lobster0right It's not about her hair..."
15. Asia Speights 
"....? Because white women don't wear weaves? [Profanity initials deleted] does her hair have to do with ANYTHING."
16. Rebecca Shogunle
"strong. powerful. insightful and definitely true beyond doubt"
17. Monkey Teeth
"Look how confident and proud she seems. Snatch that wig off her head and watch her confidence instantly disappear as she runs off stage embarrassed of her God given hair !"
18. Azandria Hudson 
"Her weave isn't a mask just simply a style. You don't have to wear your natural hair 24/7 to love yourself and be woke"
"amazing. black power"
20. G Den 
"Stop it! this is not about "Black Power" or hating others. it's about uplifting our Black women, specifically those who are less mixed than others (Dark Skin). I will not allow YOU to make something so beautiful ugly.
-Black Activist/Community Member"
"love this with the entire life of me."
22. Emmanuel Mango
"What's her name?"
"+David Emmanuel MasterPiece.... Check out masterpiecepoet on IG"
"IG" = "Instagram".
24. Snoopy Thompson
"She Tells It Like It Tis"
25. Awo Abdi
" "our sons don't need sunscreen, they run from protection" you're lying if you say you didn't get chills."
This comment refers to this portion of that spoken word [from 1:40-1:53] in this video:
"They say 'The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice'
But nowdays it's 'The blacker the baby, the longer the noose.'
Our sons don't need sunscreen.
They run from protection.
They get their vitamin D from laying 4 hours face down on the ground."
"The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice" is a recurring saying in African American folk culture since at least 1922 (Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Songs: Wise & Otherwise (song/poem "You Love You Girl". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/06/timeline-for-cultural-use-of-saying.html for a pancocojams post on that saying.
The line "they get their vitamin D from laying face down on the ground" is probably a referent to the August 9, 2014 shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by Darren Wilson, 28, a White Ferguson police officer and Michael Brown's body laying unattended for hours after the shooting.
26. Adrian Ware
"talk about the power. You can definitely here it in her voice. So moving. The queen just spoke"
Since the late 1960s Black nationalist movement in the United States "queen" has been a complimentary referent for a Black woman.
"Great poem oh my lord! I have chills.
For anyone asking, the song is Behind Closed Doors by Muoi."
"You're beautiful with your skin like moonlight and your eyes like the moon."
These words may be found in this spoken word, but I'm not sure where they are in this video.
29. Sade Tucker
"I give this millions of snaps!!! Incredibly executed!"
30. angela modifo
"Amandla is a Zulu and Xhosa word meaning "power". The word was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against Apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies. The leader of a group would call out "Amandla!" and the crowd would respond with "Awethu" or "Ngawethu!" (to us), completing the South African version of the rallying cry Power to the People!. The word is still associated with struggles against oppression."...
31. Vikki Costello
"what !! amazing Queen! all I can say is powers to the most high & #Kudos cause that was God sent"
"Very powerful but also a little saddening. As a mixed child, I feel hurt that she talks about us mixed children are made out of some desire to purge undesirable traits. But I say my parents loved each other. As apparently unbelievable as it seems. And she stays she doesn't want to be attacked for her appearance, yet she attacks us. Think about that."
"Says* not stays"
mariemonstre is referring to the portion of the line that is spoken at around 1:00 in this video "She got flavor- ain't that how those mulatto babies are made?"
34. Nina H
"Does anybody know where I can find this typed out? I cant understabd her in some parts :("
"+Nina H Book will be released soon ;p"
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