Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dear Black Man

To whom it may concern
If it were to concern you at all
I am informing the collective you
that after years of being beaten down
mentally, physically, emotionally, and sexually
I am finally giving up
gathering what's left of myself and retreating
Black man - It's time to quit you

I won't let you leave me unloved and unmarried
Single mother of three
Fifteen years of you and no wedding ring
I won't let you turn me into a lesbian
Too traumatized to let a man touch me again
I will simply seek other opportunities
Somewhere in this world I'll be appreciated for me
I just don't think it will be a Black man

The Black man did not find me reason enough to
put down the bottle, stop all the whoring
and just raise his damn child
The only thing he gave me was
his nose, his vices, his smile, and his fucked up attitude

Black man I call my brother saw fit to lay hands on me
And no, I don't mean spiritually
Fists turned into punches, hands turned into slaps
Spit in my face as you tickle me until I cry
You told me no man should ever put his hands on me
Yet, you beat me down on a regular basis
Offering love for me as your reasoning
And to think, you're the only man I've ever really trusted

Black man, you sure like to touch me
Wandering eyes led to wandering hands
No permission was granted but that didn't matter
Terrified three-year-old felt something wasn't right
But your threats bought you time in the form of my silence
Eleven-years-old, your hands trespass on thighs
This time, I'm old enough to know to run
Like I wish I could have those times at 19 you got me
drunk enough to take advantage of my inexperience and innocence

The Black man wants my fruit
without putting in any of the labor
and I know I could never depend on you to be there
If by chance I were to go into labor
You won't even commit to showing up at my house on time
And a relationship is out of the question
The only thing you understand is "friends with benefits"
Where you're the only "friend" that benefits
While I hug my sheets, watching you dress
I realize your pretense and this is just another way to use me

Even when you and I become involved
You take it upon yourself to run down a list
of everything YOU THINK is wrong with me
You like my curly hair but you think it's too short
It makes you wonder if I'm "mixed with something"
My in between skin, however, does not please you
I catch you staring at my high school pictures on the wall
You notice my hair was longer and my skin was lighter
Then you tell me that I could have your babies
because I "got good hair"
but we'd probably have to keep them out of the sun
You are shocked I don't find this complimentary

You tell me I need to lose some weight
Even though I haven't gained any since you met me
Two months after we break up you're dating some white girl
AT LEAST 20 lbs. heavier than me with NO ASS
And even if she has an ass it's no bigger than mine
But you treasure hers because she's a white girl
when the same ass was just "aiight" on me
You value my features on a white canvas
But on brown paper they're commonplace

The black man loves to be contradictory
because I'm apparently "too white" for you
You don't care that I'm a product of my environment
All you can see is that I can name more than ten John Mayer songs
My fondness for subject-verb agreement upsets you
The only reason you're talking to me is to see if I can
put you on to one of my cute white girlfriends
or because you think I can fulfill that sick black-white-girl fetish of yours
You smile coyly as you tell me I'm the best of both worlds
A black girl on the outside, white girl on the inside
This is how you repay me for not being a Viacom stereotype

The black man accuses me of having too much self-esteem
You say I think too highly of myself
When the reality is after having you crush me for twenty-one years
I've realized only I can guarantee myself love
Reinforced when the man I am taught to call King
Gladly spits on the image of the woman that bore him
You will never share your strength with me
Why fault me for having my own?

Black man will say I am generalizing him...
And I am... And I don't care
I refuse to waste my life and my time
on men who don't really want me, who see me as the fallback
You want to use me up, have me play backdoor ho
until you find whatever it is that you're looking for

BLACK WOMEN need to wake up to what stares us in the face
We remain the most unmarried demographic because
Black men gave up on us first
Black men decided we were no longer desirable
and we continue to chase after your asses
When we could really just look elsewhere

After all these years black man
I never thought I'd being saying this to you
but I see why society turns its nose up at you
Don't be upset with me black man, you drove me here
but I will not let you ruin me
Instead, I will turn my back on you
just like you did to me, twenty-one years ago


(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

I'm not going to lie and say I don't understand where you're coming from, because believe me I do....

but, assholeness comes in all shades...

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

I know what you're saying funky... I do. I could have explained where this came from with a disclaimer or something but I didn't want to take away from it or backpedal or anything.

The truth is, I'm willing to bet everything that I said in my open letter poem could have happened to me had I been born white or asian or whathaveyou but I wasn't, I was born black. So I take my horrible experiences, look at statistics on marriage, single mothers, fatherless black children, raped/molested children and all the cover-ups, stories from friends, the preview for what looks to be an entire show dedicated to black men spewing hatred about black women, the internet where they find a home for their hate... I just got really pissed off.

In general though, I pretty much mean what I said. This is not say if I will be rude to black men or if a black man approaches me in a romantic way I won't bite... I'm just not looking for one anymore. Not giving the eye. Not noticing. Not flirting. Not smiling. No chit chat. I'll go back to white boys or something... The most annoying thing one of them ever did was touch my hair too much.

Yashieka - The Big Foot Chica said...

It's so sad, "THIS" is the reality of some (not all) of our black men today and yet they wonder why I decided to date outside of my race....*sigh* After my last incident, I have no desire or strength to deal with a black man. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired...

Yashieka - The Big Foot Chica

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

Let me also say, I've never exclusively dated black men and never women need to realize there are other options out there as well...Black men are definitely not exclusive to black women nowadays, and I don't plan on ever starting to be either.

Yashieka - The Big Foot Chica said...

Hi-FIVE Funky! I wasn't raised to recognize the color of a man's skin, so I've ALWAYS dated outside of my race. I took a break from the other races a couple years back and lets just say I had to go back home...

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

Funky, Yashieka... I'm with you... I've always dated outside my race but like you Yashieka I had been on hiatus from others but they are pushing me back! I tried to ride for the black man but damnit, he made it impossible. So like I said, if a great one comes along... Great but I am not pursuing even slightly!!!

BTW Yashieka... Your first comment came as I was reading your blog. ;)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

i thought it was for me

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

LoL, you don't want this to be about you!

Yashieka - The Big Foot Chica said...

We need to start a "we're not dating black men club!" Yashieka is all about starting clubs! lol..Seriously though, I'm with you Lisa. If a good black man comes a long, I'll take him, I'm definitely NOT pursuing them either. Of all the races I've dated, the black men have treated me the worst! I still have a glimmer of HOPE...I don't know how much longer I'll have that hope though...

goldiilocs said...

We as a whole, black women and black women are very bruised, battered, emotionally scarred people. It saddens me that you've gotten to this point, however, I can't fault you for wanting to break free and be happy. Love who you want, I have no problem with that.

(Not that my approval matters anyway, but.....)

What happens if you have a mixed son? Would you encourage him to embrace his black side? Exalt it as something to be proud of or shy away from due to your experiences? Nonetheless, he would be a man of color....

Catch said...

I wish you didn't feel this way.

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

goldiilocs, sometimes when I write things even I don't realize everything I'm saying. I never intended to come across as condemning the all black men and then I realized that maybe I was also saying something else. Every experience I wrote about were all different men but they all had similar characteristics so perhaps, unintentionally, I have been dealing with the same black man repeatedly. So now when I read it, I see myself as relinquishing the hold that he (this type of black man) has had on me.

Now, I'd be lying if I said I won't be weary of black men from now on because I am traumatized. That being said, my general nature is to give nearly anyone a chance to at least be friends and see where it goes. The biggest change in how I will be towards black men now is that I can honestly say I won't pursue them. No flirting, no smiling, no giving the eye... Nothing. But heyyy if a great one finds me, awesome.

As for having mixed children or a mixed son specifically. I wouldn't deny the other parent but it would be very important to me for my children to understand that (say if their dad is white) yes, you are part white but in this world you are black. I don't want them to feel they have to ignore the other side but I'd need to them to understand reality.

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

And to catch, I wish I didn't feel this way either. :(

TLW said...

Oy. Why is it that White men can be seen as individuals so whenever one screws up they are not judged collectively. But since you (and others) have had bad experiences with Black men then it leads to a post like this? You probably don't agree with me but with this post you are treading in the same territory of those self-hating Black men you so despise.

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

TLW, you are entitled to your opinion but if you are to read my responses to other commenters you would know that my intention for writing this was not to condemn all black men. The sad reality of my life is that outside of a few strictly platonic friends, no black man has ever done right by me, be it family or partners. That being said, I can see why you would feel that I'm spewing hate against all black men because at face value that may be how it comes across but I ask you to consider some other things...

1. The title: "Dear Black Man" not men. I am speaking to not only a specific type of man but I truly feel that all the men I speak of experiences with in this have been the same type of man. So, this is in a way relinquishing his hold on me.
2. Throughout, I continually address the black MAN except when I tell other black women that they shouldn't put all their stock into black men. This is not because I hate black men, this is because they reality is that black men are more willing to marry a non-black woman than vice versa.
3. I openly acknowledged that this could and would come across as generalizing and I said that I was and I didn't care. Now when I really look at it, I don't think I really generalized.

All in all, this is all about my life and my experience. I think what bothers people the most is that it's not the first time this story has been told. No, not every black man is a rapist, child molestor, woman abusing, misogynist but this is my story and this is the story of many others. And you can say, white women or asian women may go through this with their male counterparts but the difference is you don't constantly hear white men or asian men spewing hatred about their women. You don't see commercials for television programs dedicated to white men degrading white women. When you add up my life experience with the bullshit I see everyday, YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I'M PISSED OFF AND TIRED. So... I do officially give up and make no apologies for that. Like I said though, if a nice black man wants to prove me wrong... That's great, I'm all about giving people a chance but I for damn sure am not pursuing.

Crys said...

damn damn damn - florida evans

i hate i showed up at this party late, but goodness - THIS WAS GOOD. i sent this link to my two friend girls, and i realized - that i wouldn't even be able to recognize a non black flirt tactic, lol. i tell you one thing, i'll be looking in all the mens eyes on the elevator in the parking garage ON THIS DAY (not just the black ones) lmao!

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I'm one of the friends that Crys linked too.

A few things first, I loved it this is a very POWERFUL piece of poetry.

I will have to say that you were very dead on with noticing your baggage. It took me a few years to realize that if I am going through the same situations with different faces, its me. I also realized that perhaps there is a lesson for me to learn. I believe that anytime I am going through the same situation there has to be a life lesson I need to learn.

On the most surface of levels because I do not know you and this is my first time here I will say your lesson is to LOVE YOURSELF MORE THAN ANY MAN, of any color. However that is just a surface glean based on one post and your responses to comments.

The other thing I have to share is that statistically black men who marry outside their race is less than those who marry within, but I do know that doesn't account for the hoards of black men who are dating and screwing outside their race with out marry the white woman.

Like you said I think you are describing the same kind of man, also known as the asshole. I'm glad I came here. I'll be back like the Terminator.


Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

Let me start off by saying to OG, I really appreciate your feedback. I do love myself more than any man (thanks for the advice though) which is why I had to put these demons to rest the only way I know how... Through writing. Thank you for your words!!!

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

thought this might interest you


OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Oh yeah I wasn't implying you didn't love yourself, I was saying that was your lesson to learn going through the same situations with different faces. I wasn't try to say you didn't, I would think the piece shows that you got that lesson after many tries. Hope that clarifies that.


Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

OG, Thanks for clarifying. I hope I didn't seem offended or anything before though, because I wasn't but I'm glad to know I'm understood! ;)

Clicking that link... NOW.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I'm glad you walked away from him.

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

Kit, ty very much.

8thlight said...



Why let a few define the bunch? I haven't had the best experience with black women, but I can't see myself with anyone else . . . unless I'm still looking at 35+.

Yashieka said...

h8th Light - *picks up microphone to speak* The problem with saying don't let a few define the bunch is it's not a few anymore. To me it's MOST black men. Every time I turn around I hear another story from yet another Black Woman crying about what a Black Man did to them. I'm taking it to another level now, just look at the rate of in which Black Woman get infected with HIV? the last time I checked 60% of all new HIV cases are African American women and majority of them are in Heterosexual relationships with African American men.

*Drop microphone and leaves the stage*

whitraye said...

great post! i just found your blog. and in light of the single black women piece on "black in america" this is very poignant. i feel similar to the way you feel. id hate to give up on brothas but if seems as if they dont deserve anymore of my time...

Lisa Marie Turtle (2008 Model) said...

Thanks for reading/commenting/appreciating Whitraye!

LeNoir Tyrannical said...

this is a serious poem. Love the site by the way. def gunna blog roll you. Check mine's in my profile. Peace!!