They Told Her She Couldn’t Do It, So She Did

They told her she couldn’t do it

They told her she was too loud

Too opinionated

Too black

But she laughed and she said,

“Just wait. My day’s gonna come.”

She climbed on top of rooftops

And sang Whitney’s songs—

Her voice was like honey

But her words were raw fire


She held her fist high

And she marched like Martin

Her spirit was Malcolm’s,

But her courage was all her own

At night she would whisper Maya’s poems

To herself,

And in the morning she was Bessie Coleman,

Flying high.


They told her she was weak

They laughed when she told them

She had dreams

Now she writes her stories


She pens her freedom in broad strokes,

And she is unapologetically black


They aren’t laughing now

Not when they’ve seen her

Dance like Michael,

And travel to the stars like Mae.

They aren’t laughing now that they see her standing

Firm in her beliefs like Rosa—

Not ready to move for anybody

Her smile is wide and it is her beacon

It led her here,

Far beyond where they told her she would go


She wears this smile with pride,

Her beautiful, black smile

Along with the big hair her momma gave her

And her wide, big girl hips

She’s the only one laughing now

Dancing on rooftops

And singing songs of redemption

That would’ve made Marley proud