Ernestine Johnson - The Average Black Girl lyrics

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Ernestine Johnson - The Average Black Girl lyrics

They say I'm not the average black girl because I'm so well spoken Poised, full of etiquette, a white man's token You know I remember my ex's mother telling me, “I didn't know how I was gonna react when he brought home a black girl, but I like you because you talk so white.” But when did me talking right equate to me talking white? They say I'm not the average black girl No! No! Not the average black girl because the pigment of my skin is just a shade lighter than that black girl over there You know, the black girl over there The black girl with the nappy hair The black girls whose elbows can't skip a day without lotion Whose hearts and heads are filled up with self-hate and bottled up emotion The cocoa brown girls who have to face society every day and be tough Because no matter how good they straighten their hair, their good is still not good enough Oh, but see. Luckily for me, see I don't fall in that category, See they say I'm not the average black girl because I speak with so much cla** and I don't have too much but just enough a** and Not too much but just enough pizzazz You know, just a little bit of attitude 'Cause you don't wanna come off as one of those average black girls and come off as rude You know, popping their gum and shaking their neck Yeah, 'cause those black girls get like no respect But see luckily for me, see I get pa** 'Cause the melanin in my skin matches that brown paper bag And my father, brother and men that I date pants don't sag And when I speak, my tongue pronounces every syllable And the combed part down the middle of my hair is naturally visible Oh! Oh! It must be a weave or she must be mixed 'Cause we all know the average black girl ain't got that good (sh**) Or when I walk in a room full of white men, they all stare It must be the long lengths of my un-average black girl hair See! See, they say I'm not the average black girl because I corrected the professor when he used the word conversate. Converse! The word is converse And in case you didn't get the memo, there are now eight not nine planets in the universe And when you're watching the numbers on your stocks move up and down Remember Oklahoma, in a small town One of the first Wall Streets was a Black Wall Street that got mysteriously burned down Oh, they say I'm not the average black girl Well let's flip this script and rewind this (sh**) Repaint the lines and have them blurred over time Because the average black girl that I know… See, the average black girl that I know made 19 trips through the Underground Railroad to free the slaves Sat on segregated buses, refused to get up and paved new waves See, the average black girl that I know… The average black girl that I know were Egyptian queens like Hatshepsut and Nitocris who were ruling dynasties and whole armies of men Excuse me, why I set fire to this poem on my pen 'cause I am tired! Tired of the stereotypes black girls have fallen into because of American mentality Oh! But not half as tired as Ella Baker, Diane Nash, Septima Poinsette Clark I am sick and tired of being sick and tired Miss Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates, Anna Arnold Hedgeman and Dorothy Height are far more tired than I am But do you think the ones who say I'm not the average black girl even give a damn? No! So pardon me if I can't openly accept your compliments Pardon me if I can't openly accept your compliment It's just the average black girl that I know… The average black girl that I know had courage that surpa**ed her every fear And fought for justice and equality year after year So as I construct these words, pardon me as I shed a tear Because I'm not half the black girl she was! I am not half the black girl she was! See, there's a minor clause She was out there fighting, breaking and changing laws So I bow down to my black queen standing in the merit of her work And as America society continuously throws these supercilious words onto me I say, “No!” I am not the average black girl, I can only aspire to be.