Meant to Be – A Poem by Natalie Patterson

Two ladies hugging each other and smiling while on the beach

Meant to Be


It is because you are meant to be that you are
Standing in your sun kissed skin
You are radiant and brilliant
You are a black girl

The most copied yet criticized
The most counted on but denied
You are a black girl

You come from rich soil
So rich books hide the facts
Hope you stay sleep buy into that Kardashian trap
But you know, we ain’t got time for THAT
So forget those distractions and listen to your inner queen she will lead you to your crown
She will remind you to celebrate others
Will guide your understanding that the two of you are actually one
She will root for you when you have forgotten WHAT you are made of

Just think of whose shoulders we stand on
Do you know of Lucy? The 3.2 million year old female skeleton found in Ethiopia
which is to say Lucy was the first black girl
Our ancestor, our sis who quite possibly is responsible for the creation of every human being ever

We stand on the shoulders of
Africans who built the Great Pyramid of Giza,
invented mathematics and Astronomy
We stand on the shoulders of
those who in 1618 daily survived the Middle Passage
Survived 1865 America’s slavery
Survived 100 years of segregation
Survived lunch counter protests, the KKK, fire hoses and leaders being murdered in the street
Survived the crack epidemic and student loans
Survived raising kids alone
Survived low-paying jobs and microaggressions
Honey we survived the perm and the Jheri curl
Survived being told our natural state is unprofessional
Survived being the only of our kind in most rooms
Survived institutions that thought we weren’t human or woman or person enough

I think of every name I will never know
Every person who prayed me into existence
Who traveled dark bleak roads
Built roads they would never travel freely on
With the hope that someday someone like you and me would be born

THIS moment is our inheritance
Our trust fund
Our negro spiritual stitching into our DNA
Course crown to protect brilliance
You are magnificent because you were made of unlikely things
Do you know they have tried to break us a million times and yet we remain?

Who else you know got more fly?
More magic?
More “I bet you won’t?”
More one look and everyone freezes?
More Auntie Maxine Reclaiming her time at 80
More Michelle Obama “when they low, we go high”
More Audre Lorde, more Janelle Monae, more SZA, more Solange, more BEYONCE!

Who has more survival in their DNA?

The backbone of the world
Show me a black woman and I know I’ve found a leader
A thinker
A potentially smart mouthed SISTER
Trusted confidant
You are all that and then some, sis
Because you are meant to be
So stand proudly in that beautiful skin
And remind the world where you came from and who you are destined to be.