April is National Poetry Month. I’m starting early and sharing my poetic anthem born in Thea Matthew’s Writing for Poetry and Resiliency class. Poetry is part of my healing and self-care.

What is your personal anthem?

Photo by: Adrianne Mathiowetz

Black on Purpose

By: Kelechi Ubozoh

I am Black on purpose

Magic in my DNA

There is power in my lineage 

Strength and sweat with my ancestors

Dance in my hips and love in my bones

I am Black on purpose

Why else would they try to break my heart, mind, and body? 

Silence my words?

Brainwash my intellect?

I am Black on purpose

Not to serve you, save you, or reflect you

I am Black on purpose, but not your Black heroine 

Liberation whispered as libations are poured

Altars built from the Black bodies before me

Frenzied chants, gospel songs, and cries

Can’t be me or break me

So, you try to kill me

You worked so hard to extinguish this fire…

But don’t you know I am Black phoenix?


My life doesn’t end, it transforms 

Rising to the spirit realms, the cosmos 

This time and every time, I will return.

I am Black on purpose

No mistakes made in the creation of my soft brown skin and chocolate eyes

My commanding curls refuse to be programmed 

My stomach refuses to be starved

I am Black on purpose and the version of my soul will heal the past that wished to be anyone

Longed to fit in, longed for an invisibility cloak 

We heal broken parts that were taught to turn against ourselves and our soul family

There is magic in the DNA libations, liberations, and power. 

We are Black on purpose. 



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