LaShawn Smith-Wright

You Can’t Tame This O-Pression

“The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.”- Malcolm X


I use the loose thread in my weave

to sew my mouth shut

Feel my dignity crawl

up in my tracks and stay there

my mouth as straight as my bangs

Everyone judges me before I even open

Call me o-presser

For being 1B and woman in one pack


It ain’t real

The innocence in my scalp

be 100% human while the rest of me be nothing

I wonder how they’ll tame me this time

Maybe curl some obedience in my spine

Iron out my sass

Blow my clapback to the wind


They grip the edges when they see me

Know the pressing comb I got to face

to look like them

They ain’t seen bruises like mine

Aint seen my body a picture they use to paint

Dyed me so much I don’t remember my original color

They always want to use my color

Make me blonde and bleached and less human

But I stay the same unbreakable


Combs break in my naps

Yield to my cocoa roots

My hair be blue magic

that white girl stole

assimilated, made her own

Bonneted away with culture

Called for black afro picks

and made gentrification

I am a product of too much product

Be a bad perm from a salon I am not allowed in

I be ‘just for me’ made for them

Every kink they can they detangle

Moisturized ebony they squeeze into

My hair is bantu they knot having

Dreads they lock up

Poetic license for they justice

A version of conformity they stick in a fro


I be authentic

Made from cocoa butter and mama sweat

To lay just right

In a scalp that felt so much disrespect

it can only be black

My hair be decolorized black

Made in America

for white women who can’t even enunciate the naps

pronounce the curls

highlight the struggle

My hair be a movement

the melanin challenged can’t follow

Be a hustle they can’t braid through

It lay like african soil

Grow like poplar tree

Sway with the wind

Catch the shade just right


My hair be stubborn

Be protest

Be uncontrollable

Edge slick with olive oil


“bee mine”

“As I am”

“Au Naturale”

“A gift of dreams”

everyone wants for them but not me

My hair is my culture

It’s getting finessed too


Made white girl’s own

Till nothing is left for me

I am being taken



LaShawn Smith-Wright is  a college freshman originally from Detroit, MI. she loves spending time around other poets ready to develop their craft and share their story which isn’t an available experience at her college. Regardless of this she still loves poetry and writes daily. All in all I am someone who loves telling my story in everything I do.