Seven Young Black Women Writers To Celebrate And Support During National Poetry Month
A new cohort of Black women poets, writers, and creatives are throwing the genre of poetry on its head, and I’m here for it.
April is in full swing, bringing with it spring, Mercury Retrograde **shudders,** and National Poetry Month. Poetry is a mainstay within the arts and provides a niche for almost anyone interested in engaging. Black women writers, scholars, creatives, and entertainers have created their own space in poetry and have led the way in being a voice for the community to inspire, empower, mobilize, and share goose bumped teary eyed prose that can make the toughest, most hardened person break down weeping.
Many of us know who those brilliant minds belong to. Women like Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou, Phyliss Wheatly, Ntozake Shange, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and even Beah Richards — the actress who wrote “A Black Woman Speaks of White Womanhood, of White Supremacy, of Peace” in 1950, which some scholars say inspired the Civil Rights Movement.
And while I could write a dissertation celebrating these phenomenal women and so many others, there is a new cohort of young Black women poets and writers who are unapologetically taking the world of poetry by storm through innovation, creativity, activism, and pure, raw, unadulterated talent, brilliance, and courageous critical circumspection of Blackness, Black womanhood, and the experiences that shape them — and here are seven of them.
Jasmine Mans is the Black woman poet you wish was your best friend. Mans is from Newark, New Jersey, and centers her writing around Black womanhood. Her critically acclaimed most recent book, “Black Girl Call Home,” is a collection of beautifully written, authentic, and touching poems that narrates the conflict and irony between the power and powerlessness of our bodies and identity.