Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

Jae Nichelle – “Brown Skin Girl” @WANPOETRY (TGS 2017)


Brown skin girl, why would you hurt yourself
when your entire world already gets that job done? Brown skin girl, no one’s gonna love you,
but you. Don’t you know that? Don’t you gotta be tough, strong, able to
carry your household on your head and your siblings on your back? Brown Girls, they don’t crack, they don’t
cry, they don’t bleed, they don’t cut. Brown Girl, didn’t they warn you? There are two reasons we don’t talk about
self-harm in the black community. The same two reasons it took me this long
to write this poem. The first one is denial. Brown girl can’t admit that there was something
wrong. No, that didn’t happen not here, not to this
brown girl, not to your daughter. Mom, when you first say my wrist, you asked
me if it was make up from drama class and I said, yes. Yes, we’re learning how to make cuts look
real and eventually I’ll learn how to make the scars look like they’re healing. What Magic. What a way out for you. See, brown skin girls learn ways not to discuss
the bad or the truth. When you were ready, you asked me questions
I had no answers to like: Why? Like: Did I not want to live? Saying, no, would be denial. But no, I did not want to die. just did not want to live like this, anymore. The second reason is fear. Fear that if you speak it, then it’s real. Well, I was over two years clean and I still
needed to speak about it to heal. I am not bleeding, but I have not healed. Can’t you see that? The first guy I ever had sex with never told
me I was beautiful, which led me to believe that I couldn’t be, and he never noticed the
scars on my thighs where his dirty fingers pressed down. He only said, lean back. He only said, take off your clothes. He only asked once, does this hurt? And I did not say yes. And I did not say, but I am used to pain. Brown skin girls don’t get depression, they
get silenced. This is no disease. This is your birth right. It was not like waking myself up each day
to go on. It was not like trying to feel something,
anything. It was sadness. It was losing myself. Brown skin girl. Brown wrist girl. Red wrist girl. Do not cry anymore. It is not lovely. It is not tragic. It is pain. It is raw. This brown girl was broken and raw. Brown girl cracked. She cried. She bled. She cut. She bled. She cut. She bled. She cut. She healed. She healed. She healed. She healed. She healed. Like brown skin girls must do.

48 thoughts on “Jae Nichelle – “Brown Skin Girl” @WANPOETRY (TGS 2017)

  1. She cut, she bled, she cut, she bled, she cut, she bled, she healed, she healed, she healed, she healed, she healed. Like brown skin girls must do. Girl, this is so strong. I love your spirit and talent.

  2. Amazing and so true. "SHE HEALED….. SHE HEALED. LIKE brown skinned girls must do" that line spoke to my soul.

  3. The feeling of validation in the black community is very much needed, because the black community never asks for help when depression and other mental issues have acquired, because we are taught to help ourselves! No Prozac no Xanax No counseling….But because of our black skin we stand strong and cry behind brick walls and don't tell all….We suffer through it…..That's why the slaves song black songs of gospel and encouragement because that's all we knew while picking cotting and being labeled as nothing because of our brown skin! What black power magic we have shown other races!! But right now, I must say if you need help behind the strong black skin that you are in don't be afraid to seek it! I love my race and have dedicated my life to move foward!! Beautiful poem, Ms.Jae❤

  4. I had an eating disorder at age 13 and my grandmother said: "black people don't get eating disorders." I understand. Tell it. We are survivors.

  5. I'm not black in the color of my skin, but I've got the black painted passion in my bones, the passion black people have in their veins. I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE, I WANTED TO SAY YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND BLESSED LADIES AND MEN 💕❤️💕

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