College Students Perform Poem About Black Women’s Experience: “I Grew Up Learning How To Protect Men Who Hate Me”

Misogyny targeted at black women from black men have long been heavy, yet critical, topics of discussion. Crystal Valentine and Aaliyah Jihad forcefully added weight to the conversation through a poem presented at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam International.

In a new YouTube video, the bright, young New York University college students unapologetically addressed black men who gawk over foreign women and praise black women’s features on non-black bodies. “You know a n***a’s weakness is a white girl with a fat a**,” Jihad spoke during the April performance. “These black girls need to watch out, ’cause white girls is winning,” the two mockingly said, portraying the denouncement of black women.

The ladies also touched on the perceivably undesirable stereotypes that many people associate with black women, such as nappy afros. They continued on to question how black men could hold these sentiments when their existence, too, have been bred from black women’s bodies.

“In college, a boy said he didn’t date black girls. Like his momma wasn’t a black girl. Like his sister wasn’t a black girl. Like he ain’t drink milk and fat from a black nipple. Like he wasn’t birthed from a black womb. Like a black woman’s body ain’t bend for him. Ain’t spill herself to make room for him. Like exiting a black woman’s body ain’t a blessing disguised as a shadow,” they intensely recited during the performance.

Exiting the stage like queens, Valentine and Jihad left the powerful words resonating with the audience that broke into a roaring applause at the poem’s conclusion.

Valentine and Jihad were both members of a six-person poet team from New York University. This painfully honest poem, along with another titled “Black Privilege,” landed the team another win and continued the university’s Slam! poetry competition winning streak.

Put your snaps together with the video.