The past few weeks have opened my eyes. Social media has introduced me to many great things – that includes certain poetry writers. However, recently I’ve been exposed to a different perspective and criticisms of the “sad brown girl”. (Please note, I am not addressing the controversy surrounding the plagiarism of authors’ works as I do not know enough of that to have an opinion.)
Being brown and a womxn, it’s great to see writing that I can identify with. I’ve shared the works of womxn of colour and every time I do I feel a surge of pride. A step away from the bland and often over-rated works I see advertised around me.
That’s why this idea of a “sad brown girl” trope makes me kind of sad. On the one hand, we’re so much more as womxn and being defined and categorised into this little box is not fair to womxn at all. On the other hand, we have so much pain to deal with and often the poetry I read from these writers provide some form of solace knowing that there are others around me who feel as bad as I do.
The 9th of August marked Womxn’s Day in South Africa and a slew of the so-called “sad brown” poetry was shared all over by my friends on their various social media. I would have easily done the same but I was stopped with the notion that I would be perceived as a “sad brown girl”.
But in fact, I know I’m so much more than that and it’s about changing the perception of these writers. Start reading their works that get overlooked for not being “sad” enough and start sharing at the inspirational things they’ve written. They are there and I think we need to stop being so judgemental against womxn writers.