Poet Kwyn Townsend Riley sums up the experiences of Black women at predominately white institutions (PWI’s) in new poem 10 Commandments. Riley highlights both her lived and shared experiences in the piece, just less than four minutes.
Regardless of whether you’ve attended a PWI or an HBCU, there is a chance you might relate to some of the experiences Riley highlights in the 10 Commandments. #1, White people will touch your hair. It’s a common lived experience most Black women with natural hair have had to navigate through, often times in an unpleasant way. “We all know America loves Black culture, just not Black people.” The poem goes on to highlight other issues, such as Black Lives Matter, micro aggressions, and stereotypes. “There is no justice, just us, “says Riley in the piece.
While the poem certainly touches on key issues many Black women face at PWI’s, these scenarios might also occur in the work place, in every day lives and on hateful social media posts often left by trolls on progressive media sites. And while these commandments are certainly real, if Trump’s progress is just a minimal reflection of our society, there are no plans for these scenarios to change, not even as Obama’s term comes to an end. What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences described by Riley in the 10 Commandments? Share them in the comment section.