Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
Updated: May 11, 2021
Does black girl magic really mean,
"look at how that black girl hasn't died yet"
and when she does die,
what does she become,
"Witch" from Black Girl, Call Home
I love this book for everything it is: a rally cry, a support group, a 'girl, I see you'. A big warm hug in welcoming arms. I also love this book for everything it isn't: a guide for living, a do-better manual, an 'I told you so'.
It's a love letter for Black women. All black women. Mother's, sisters, daughters. Straight, gay, trans. Attached and unattached. Lovers and fighters. The broken and the yet to be broken, but also the victorious, because the words are woven together like a blanket of compassion. Warming you from the cold, despite all of your scars. Letting you know that where you've been, isn't where you're going and where you're going doesn't have to be permanent...If you just call home.
Calling home can mean so many different things to so many people, but the entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking about the title and what calling home has meant to me throughout my life. I'd call home to check in. I'd call home when I was in trouble. I'd call home to be lifted up. When the world seemed cold and isolating, calling home always reminded me who I was; giving me enough encouragement to push through the obstacles of that moment to face another day.
At times contemporary poetry can be a bit abstract. So much so that the messaging can be lost. However, this book of poems, is essentially a love letter to Black girls. In those moments when you feel unloved, sometimes even unlovable, Jasmine Mans, artfully expresses that you are–in a beautifully simplistic way, so that you can feel it wherever you are in life: gutter or glory, bourgeois or badass and all the variations in between.