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the black you hate

my kind of black is wondering

if compliments are cruel jokes

or micro aggressions

with “for a black girl”

silently attached to the end.

it’s as dark as the reality of

not being beautiful to anybody

except rarely and in secrecy.

my kind of black is too black

to be proud to be black in front of black people.

it’s the kind you hide from the sun

so it doesn’t get any blacker.

the kind that is made

to feel ashamed to be black

as if being as black as me

is the worst black to be.

but most of all, my black is

a shape shifting magic kind of black

that alters itself

depending on the eye of the beholder.

sometimes it’s a shimmering onyx

kind of breathtaking black,

but it’s black like dirt mostly

to everyone but me

and my daddy,



ZaMari Love is a Hampton University alumna, graduate student, public servant and poet from Virginia. She uses the art as a form of catharsis and as a way to make sense of the parts of life that seem inexplicable. Her self-published collection titled "Forget Me Not" debuted on April 1, 2019. Aside from writing, ZaMari loves singing, reading, painting and laughing over wine.


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