Who is Black?
a poem created out of desperation to be connected to something

by ShaRhonda Knott Dawson

Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!

But who is Black?
Especially, when none of us are the actual color black; we are the color brown.

To me:

Black folks,
all those whose DNA is from


Black folks;
verses ________, Africans (enter any African country) were
stripped of their humanity,
and shipped
to their Foster Nations by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Black folks
are those of us living in the Diaspora,

Black folks

are those of us

who lived in


but were never


Black folks are those us with foster homes countries but no true home country; because we were taken from our true homes in Africa.

You know how there is “common law marriage.” Basically, if you live with someone long enough, you are legally married. That’s what it is like Black folks. We have lived at her foster homes long enough that we are “legally married” but there was no proposal, no romance, just time, energy, put into a commitment-less relationship.

Black folks “shacked up” with their foster nations.

We have no “Birth Mother Land” to go home to.

We don’t know our Birth Mother’s specific address just that her neighborhood is in West Africa.

We have some of our “Birth Mother’s” possessions: her drums, her rhythm, her fiery, stubborn determination to survive.

But we know little about her birth Mother, except that her last name is Africa.

So our brokenness/nationless makes Black folks, Black.

Black folks over-compensate for our painful existence and create Blackness, and make being Black great.

-Black folks flag is red, black, and green.
-Black folks proudly declare,” Black is beautiful.”
-Black folks fight in our foster countries and yell, #BlackLivesMatter
-Black folks didn’t have birth certificates or genealogies, so -Black folks call everyone Black, “family!”
–Black folks know that where we call home or our nation, doesn’t consider us their “real/birth” children.
-Black folks, throughout the Diaspora, have to manage our family rejection by “foster nations.”
-Black folks know that our Brown family, who know their first names in Africa, don’t really consider us family either.

So, we made ourselves family and called ourselves: Black folks(Black Americans; Black Brazilian; Black Colombians; Black British)

So when people ask me who I define as Black,

I say:

in order to be Black, you have to had been disregarded, broken, and rebuilt in a new mixed family: with both your birth mother Africa and the foster family nation that stole you.
Black= Broken, Nationless, and Beautifully Surviving in a Foster Nation.

that’s why we say proudly, “I’m rooting for everybody Black” because everyone Black, is our family and other Black folks are the only true home we have.



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