Black is not “Just”

I wrote Black is not Just to try and find other ways to envision blackness besides the stereotypical characterisation many define the skin by. I remember the day I binge-watched Spike Lee’s “She’s gotta have it”. It’s the heart of my inspiration, my artistic guru. Nora Darling’s #Mynameisntboo #MynameisntMama, in general #Mynameisnt campaign got to me. It opened my eyes to the many ways I can use my poetry and art to unapologetically speak out and inspire others and redefine experiences.

Black is not JUST a Spectrum 

Black is not a scale of roasting 

Black is not an impulse 

Or an adrenaline rush 

 

Black is not letters that are left unpronounced 

Not a slang nor an abbreviation 

Black is not empty spray paint cans 

Not a rebel blank wall waiting to be painted on 

 

Black is not JUST braids 

Nor the thread joining the braid to a weave 

Black is not JUST brown eyes and an Afro 

Nor is it big packages or wide hips and fuller lips 

Nor is it 6ft 

Black is not a dribble or a number on a jersey 

 

Black is not a “miracle”

It is not loud churches and hallelujahs 

Black is not JUST a calendar 8 years late 

Nor is it the 13th month 

 

Black is not JUST a muscle 

It is not just good sex 

Black is not 12 tracks of hip-hop 

It’s not JUST a dab 

Nor once in a life time hoarse voice 

 

Black is not a secret hidden in books 

Nor is it ignorance 

Black is not JUST your momma 

Not belts, cords and flying shoes and whips 

 

Black is not training day 

It is not a man winning a marathon bare foot 

And definitely not steroids 

 

If you ask me; 

Black, 

Black is God 

Black is Adam 

Black is science 

Black is a white crayon 

A hidden figure 

Black is a timeout 

If you ask me; 

Black is bold 

Black is a void 

Black is Jesus 

Black is a bald man meditating, alone 

 

If you ask me; 

Black is a straight line 

Black is that point of singularity 

It is right 

And it is wrong 

Black is a skin that cracks 

Black, 

 

Black is not an alteration 

And all what black is not is just a shadow of society’s projection 

That it’s just the other side of likeliness, of the face, of the very Gods and other creatures. 

 

And I, 

I am not JUST black 

I am not a mediocrity 

Not a cliché 

Not JUST a black girl, with JUST a black hair, brown eyes, that “JUST” writes.

My name is Kalkidan Getnet, I am a poet, an aspired concept/Minimal artist and a scriptwriter. I run a poetry blog titled “Everted” with the theme “Poetic Disruption through Bold and Uncensored Self-expression”. When I first started, Everted was more of my way of venting. I write about issues related to anxiety, depression , doubt, fear, pain, loss, and things people do not talk about out in the open. AU’s 50th anniversary “African Vibes” was my first stage to perform my poem “Our world of Hazel eyes” in August 3rd, 2013. Following that, I joined a spoken poetry group “Zem Neged Andinet” meaning from a place unity. After two years my poetry collection “Everted: The Introvert’s Handbook” got published on the “Worldreader”, and later on I won “The international women writers and artists virtual meet” hosted by Fuzia, a global community that nurtures and empowers the creativity of the young women leaders. On the 4th August 2018, I hosted my first solo exhibition themed “Poetry on canvas” blending poetry and concept paintings together. I am currently working on my second pop-up exhibition and poetry reading titled “The art of Censorship”.