Poems about Black Women

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

‘Dream Variations’ by Langston Hughes details two slightly different dreams a Black speaker has as he is confronted with the “white day.”

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes Visual Representation

As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes

‘As I Grew Older’ by Langston Hughes is about breaking through the “wall” that racism constructs. The speaker, a Black man from the African American community, spends the poem discussing the light of forgotten dreams he’s newly determined to attain.

As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes Visual Representation

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennett

‘To a Dark Girl’ by Gwendolyn Bennett is a moving and inspiring poem that seeks to uplift Black girls and women and remind them of their beauty and strength. 

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennett Visual Representation

Fragment by Angelina Weld Grimké

‘Fragment’ by Angelina Weld Grimké is a short and powerful poem in which a woman discusses, in simple terms, who she is and how she toils on a day-to-day basis.

Fragment by Angelina Weld Grimké Visual Representation

Who Said It Was Simple by Audre Lorde

‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde is a powerful poem about the inequalities in various civil rights movements during the poet’s lifetime.

Who Said It Was Simple by Audre Lorde Visual Representation

November Cotton Flower by Jean Toomer

‘November Cotton Flower’ by Jean Toomer is a powerful extended metaphor for the lives of Black men, women, and children in the southern United States. It alludes to slavery and the hope that the Civil Rights Movement presented. 

November Cotton Flower by Jean Toomer Visual Representation

Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni

‘Rosa Parks’ by Nikki Giovanni is a poem about activism and the importance of remembering important moments in African American history. The poem pays tribute to the heroic actions of the Pullman Porters who spearheaded the civil rights movement and forever changed history for the African American community.

Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni Visual Representation

Flounder by Natasha Trethewey

‘Flounder’ by Natasha Trethewey uses a flounder as a metaphor to convey a child’s struggle with her mixed-race identity.

Flounder by Natasha Trethewey Visual Representation

Catch the Fire by Sonia Sanchez

‘Catch the Fire’ by Sonia Sanchez is a thoughtful and inspiring poem. In it, the poet encourages readers to catch their fire and use their passion to fuel their lives.

Catch the Fire by Sonia Sanchez Visual Representation

Women by Alice Walker

‘Women’ is a short poem praising previous generations of African American women who fought for the education of girls.

Women by Alice Walker Visual Representation

50-50 by Langston Hughes

’50-50’ by Langston Hughes contains a dialogue between a man and a woman. The woman is looking for a partner and the man is telling her, rudely, how to acquire him as one. 

50-50 by langston hughes

I’m a Fool to Love You by Cornelius Eady

‘I’m a Fool to Love You’ by Cornelius Eady is a moving poem. It details the choices of a young black woman, the speaker’s mother, and why she did what she did.

i am a fool to love you by cornelius eady

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield

‘Harriet Tubman’ by Eloise Greenfield is a moving and simple piece of poetry about Tubman’s life. The poet explores her bravery and determination in the face of impossible odds.

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield Visual Representation

White Lies by Natasha Trethewey

‘White Lies’ by Natasha Trethewey is a poetic exploration of racial identity in the American South through three lies a girl tells about being white.

White Lies by Natasha Trethewey Visual Representation

Beware: Do Not Read This Poem by Ishmael Reed

‘Beware: Do Not Read This Poem’ by Ishmael Reed is a thoughtful poem about culture and how language is used to tell stories. The poem warns against becoming too consumed within one method of storytelling.

Beware- Do Not Read This Poem by Ishmael Reed

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper

Have you ever imagined what it felt like observing innocent lives being traded at the slave auction? It is vividly portrayed through the eyes of Frances Harper in her poem ‘The Slave Auction’.

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper Visual Representation

Harlem Hopscotch by Maya Angelou

‘Harlem Hopscotch’ by Maya Angelou is a thoughtful poem. It explores what it’s like to grow up Black in Harlem, New York.

The Harlem Dancer by Claude McKay

‘The Harlem Dancer’ by Claude McKay is a thoughtful poem about a dancer’s inner life. It speaks on the duality of what people see and what people experience.

The harlem dancer by claude mckay

Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay

‘Harlem Shadows’ by Claude McKay memorably addresses the lives of Black sex workers in Harlem. The poet describes their experience while also acknowledging their strength.

harlem shadows by claude mckay

10 Incredible Poems of the Black Lives Matter Movement

On this list, readers will find ten incredible poems inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Some celebrate Black history, identity, and love while others mourn the loss of countless men and women, like Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Incredible Poems of the Black Lives Matter Movement Visual Representation

I Dream a World by Langston Hughes

‘I Dream A World’ by Langston Hughes is a powerful, short poem that outlines the poet’s vision of a utopian world. There, no one is judged on the color of their skin and all people have access to the same freedoms.

From the Dark Tower by Countee Cullen

‘From the Dark Tower’ by Countee Cullen is a thoughtful poem about the Black experience. It suggests that there is a brighter future on the horizon.

Primer for Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks

‘Primer For Blacks’ by Gwendolyn Brooks speaks on the necessity of accepting one’s black heritage and a possible unified future for all black people.

Our Grandmothers by Maya Angelou

‘Our Grandmothers’ by Maya Angelou explores understanding and acceptance. It includes themes of family and relationships.

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol

‘Strange Fruit’ is a heart-wrenching song penned by Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiiday. It reveals the tragic nature of some of the darkest times in American history.

The Lesson by Maya Angelou

‘The Lesson’ by Maya Angelou is about life and death. The speaker begins the poem by claiming that she has died already, more than once, and that she will keep on dying.

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