The Black Woman’s Journey, a poem for Black History Month

The Black Woman’s Journey


It’s a dangerous world out there

Treat her like a queen

Close ranks for protection

Treat her like a queen

You can’t carry her bags

Even though she’s a queen

She must tote the weary load

But treat her like a queen


Don’t go without your make up

Look like a queen

Hair neatly straightened

Walk like a queen

Don’t deviate one hair’s breath

Bow down like a queen

From the uniformed dress

But live like a queen


Don’t take no crap from no one

Ladies first – just like a queen

Pray your man is left alone

Pray God like a queen

Don’t let the asp inside your home

Stand guard like a queen

Take one for the gipper, on the chin

But act and live like a queen


Now come here and whisper, like it’s a sin

You who live and act like a queen

What does it feel like deep within?

To know you live and act like a queen

But you’re given the dregs at the end of the queue

And though you live and act like a queen

You hold up the world on a back that’s strained

And you carry the truth in the queen’s veins


Your blood is tainted with so much sin

You, who never sat on a throne

Have born all the iniquities known

And yet your time has not yet come

To sing and smile with broad teeth

Lay down your head and the sagging load

Hush the ache that’s about to explode

Under the skin that’s as black as coal


But has bled drop by drop

Till you peopled the world with your brown tone

That keeps on climbing a stairwell of stones

Hewn from bituminous deep to a shade so light

That only the nose betrays its place

And unruly hair that rejects it’s comb

And green eyes that now show more

Then ever brown eyes disguised before


You who gave us all birth

Planted the seeds that filled the earth

Long have you been by us forgotten

Many the miles your feet have trodden

Clothe us in soul as Eve did and lead us

Unwind the lies that bind and bleed us

Back to your bosom gather us in


I wonder when your day will come

to be more than adornment, and voice

And conscience and brawn

To wear the crown that fidelity won

Lay the sword down that was pressed on your breast

Set right the whole mess

that corruption has left

Sort out what’s not just and divide

The meat for the mouths of the rest


Come now Queen with your royal gait

Lay down a mantle at the feet that are sore

Suckle the child that was lost and late

Give it the soul that history forswore

Make it obey it’s predestined fate

Rule with the rod and the balm alike

Sit on the throne of time for a day

Not to be followed by night.


Stand your ground as the Queen!


 For other poems by Rhea Harmsen  click here.



About rheaharmsen

Rhea Harmsen is a scientist, novelist and author of Language of the Spirit, a volume of selected poems. She has also released three novels, The Harvest of Reason, Intermarry, and God Created Women. Harmsen was born in a family with a black father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. Her parents gave her a vision of world citizenship that informs her writing and her lifestyle and has caused her to reject traditional views of race and gender. Harmsen's article "Science in the Hands of Women: Present Barriers, Future Promise" appeared in World Order in 1998 and provides the foundation for the story line for her novel The Harvest of Reason. She co-published the Monroeville Race Unity Forum Bulletin and authored many poems on racial topics, crystallizing the "conversation on race" in the novel Intermarry. Her work with domestic violence survivors in Puerto Rico inspired the novel God Created Women. Harmsen holds a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently resides in Puerto Rico. Upcomming projects are described in her web page at
This entry was posted in biracial, black history month, feminism, futurism, multicultural, multiracial, national discussion, poetry, race, race in America, rape as a weapon of war, rights of women, social justice, Uncategorized, unity in diversity, women, women's history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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