Interview with Sonia Sanchez

...that sense of pride that you had?


Can you really imagine whole generations living and dying and never once having loved themselves? That's what we tried to change when we moved into the Black Arts, Black Culture, Black Consciousness Movement. I said, "Never again will I allow anyone to live and walk on the planet Earth and not like what they are, what they be.**, not like the full lips and the flat noses and, and the hair that was curly or not curly or so-called nappy but just like the skin, the brownness and the yellowness and the Blackness and the blue-Blackness and brownberryness of it all." Ah, and that's one of the things we attempted to do. Um, we initially, many of us wrote in Black English. And many of the people, Black, White, green, purple, blue, said, "This is not proper English so it's not proper poetry." But I remember my grandmother speaking in Black English. And I remember what held me and drew me to her was that sound and that beauty of it so I implanted it in my psyche a, a, and, and at an appropriate time I pulled it out and uses it and said, "Here it be. This is what this is really all about." And I loved it and I loved those words and I knew those words loved me. But I knew also those people who had used those words said finally, "Oh, Girl, you done used us. Is we home yet?" And we all looked up and say, "Yes, you're home. We're all home now, because we understand home finally."