Art and Culture

Published on March 21st, 2013 | by thevyne


In Honor of World Poetry Day: Black Wombyn Salute

DKStockToday, March 21 is World Poetry Day! According to the UN, “World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities.” We haven’t featured a poem on Vyne World since Jonathan Bulter and Michelle Wonsley shared their works with us. So, in honor of the occasion, we are featuring a poem from Poet, Ololade Siyonbola, which is included in her book, Market of Dreams (and if you like the poem, there are more deep and profound works in her book available on Amazon). We will be featuring Ololade soon so look forward to learning more about this incredible poet. To give you a glimpse, she is Nigerian born but immigrated to the US (and now a Broolynite) by way of London in 1991. She’s also a Historian and the co- founder of the Yoruba Cultural Institute (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) and Director of Exodus to Afrika International, a research and action organization that provides housing and work resources as well as cultural training to Diasporians interested in traveling or relocating to Africa.



Black Wombyn Salute

By Ololade Siyonbola

Let the Black Wombyn live

It’s time to hold each other up

This is the only way forward as Wombyn

The only way forward as a people

We are strong Black Wombyn

But we must not be silent,

Lest we die again today.

The kinks of a Black Wombyn’s hair are her DNA crown,

Telling her that her DNA is so perfect and correct,

That she must wear it as a crown.

Why straighten it?

The deep brown of a Black Wombyn’s skin is the original

Soil of the earth

The melanin that God speaks to and through

The love that made the earth, the universe


The beauty of a Black Wombyn’s features

Are the prominent strong formations of clay by God’s hands

Fair enough to please the eye

Strong enough to etch themselves

Into a thousand years’ memories.

The curves of a Black Wombyn’s

Breasts, Hips, Thighs, Legs

Are the curves of ripe fruit fallen from the trees that feed us

The curves of the moon and the sun

The curves of the long winding roads we have traveled

And continue to walk

The curves of the lakes, rivers and mountains

That travel the earth.

The strength of a Black Wombyn’s feet

Is the strength of jingling ankle dances

To the soil

To the soul

Dances to the Ancestors

And the creatures of the Earth

Dances to the Sun

And the ten thousand years of sunrises


Dances to the moon

And the power of the night.

The strength of a Black Wombyn’s feet

Is the strength of walking one thousand miles

To freedom

Walking one thousand miles

To green lands

Walking one thousand miles

Along curvy, windy, Black Wombyn paths


With children on her back.

The strength of a Black Wombyn’s feet

Carries the earth.

The shine of a Black Wombyn’s smile

Is brighter than the sun at high noon

Reflected on the blue ocean

Brighter than the stars coming together to light the universe

Brighter than a full moon making things new

Starting over

Forgiving the Oppression

And Abuse

Forgetting the Neglect

The Insults.

The shine of a Black Wombyn’s smile

Is brighter than the white light that tells you it’s over

Make a Black Wombyn smile,

And mean it.

Be rewarded with salvation,

Prosperous journeys

And the wealth of the Black soil DNA.


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