A Seat at the Table

by Hayley Headley and Laure Dehem, United World College Maastricht
25th June, 2020

To the men in this world who never shut the f*ck up.
No, we don’t want to hear it right now–
And no, it was never funny
And that mildly racist or sexist or homophic thing you said was still racist or sexist or homophobic
And since you just get to keep talking
And we all have to keep listening
Now– it’s our turn.
So sit back, and enjoy the ride.
I am sick and tired of dealing with this world of bullsh*t.
Black women have to be motherly, hard working, educated, strong, dedicated
We have to juggle it all, just to be seen – not even heard
Everyone is so ready to jump at the next accomplishment of ‘insert white man here’
But they never want to hear about Estelle or Margaret
It’s all about Jake or Blake, Robin or Tom but never about Angela or Maya, Daisy or Rosa
And no one ever cares when THEY f*ck up ouhhhhh but when we do–
It’s all apology video, national news headline, CPS phone call
Let me tell you that I’m mad,
I’m pissed the f*ck off
Why bother talk when you won’t even listen?
Why bother speak up when you’ll just yell louder?
Why bother try when we just get ignored?
Let me tell you why….
Some of y’all just don’t like black women
And I’m really done caring about it
And tell me why I should
Why should I small up myself to give you more room?
Why should I speak quieter for you to shout?
God knows you have had more than enough time on stage.
So now it’s our turn to be heard
And we ask you – kindly, to shut the f*ck up