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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: Shea Butter Talk, a poem by RJ Crawford


You smell that?

That’s the shea butter seeping out of my pores

Out the curls and coils of the hair of my 

brothers and sisters 

Stronger than the chains of apartheid. 

You hear that?

The broken Rs and extended As that roll off

my tongue

Slicker than ol’ man Rick walking down the block clutching

his cane

…He don’t complain.

You feel that? 

Black skin silky smooth and rich with glow

That’s that shea butter glow

You catching my flow?

You smell that?

Grandma in the kitchen making Sunday dinner

after church service

Fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread and sweet potatoes

She don’t let me get no thinner.

You hear that?

The sound of the bass in the car driving down the street

blasting that new Pop Smoke

“Shorty a little baddie

Makes me move my feet.

You feel that?

Sun shining down on the little Black kids playing outside.

They’re the chosen ones.

Life’s always harder for the chosen ones.

You smell that?

That’s that shea butter talk. 

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