Talib Kweli ft Jean Grae – Black Girl Pain

My mama said life would be so hard
Growing up days as a Black girl scarred
In every way, still; you’ve come so far
They just know the name they don’t know the pain
So please hold your heads up high
Don’t be ashamed of yourself know I
Will carry it forth til the day I die
They just know the name they don’t know the pain, Black girl

I do it for the people, I do it for the love
I do it for the poet, I do it for the thug
This is for victory, and this is for the slaughter
I do it for my mother, I do it for my daughter
Promise I’ll always love ya, I love to kiss and hug ya
You and your brother should be looking out for one another
I’m so blessed, man, y’all the reason I got up
Somebody put his hands on you I’m getting locked up
I’m not playing, that’s the prayer I’m saying for Diani
And if I die then she’ll be protected by Amani
That’s her bigger brother and I love the way he love her
She a girly-girl, she love to imitate her mother
But she a Gemini, so stay on her friendly side
She’ll put that look on you, it’s like somebody friend just died
My pretty Black princess smell sweet like that incense
That you buy at the bookstore supporting Black business
Teach her what black is; the fact is her parents are thorough
She four reading Cornrows by Camille Yarborough
I keep her hair braided, bought her a black Barbie
I keep her mind free; she ain’t no black zombie
This is for Aisha, this is for Kashera
This is for Khadijah, scared to look up in the mirror
I see the picture clearer through the stain on the frame
She got a Black girl name, she living Black girl pain
This is for Makeba, and for my Mamacita
What’s really good Ma, I’ll be your promise-keeper
I see the picture clearer through the stain on the frame
She got a black girl name, she live in black girl pain

This is for Beatrice Bertha Benjamin who gave birth to Tsidi Azeeda
For Lavender Hill, for Khayelitsha
Athlone Mitchell’s Plain, Swazi girls I’m repping for thee
Manenberg, Gugulethu; where you’d just be blessed to get through
For beauty shining through like the sun at the highest noon
From the top of the cable car at Table Mountain; I am you
Girls with the skyest blue of eyes and the darkest skin
For Cape Coloured for realizing we’re African
For all my cousins back home, the strength of Mommy’s backbone
The length of which she went for raising, sacrificing her own
The pain of not reflecting the range of our complexions
For rubber pellet scars on Auntie Elna’s back, I march
Fist raised, caramel shining, in all our glory
For Mauritius, St. Helena; my blood is a million stories
Winnie for Joan and for Eadie, for Norma, Leslie, Ndidi
For Auntie Betty, for Melanie; all the same family
Fiona, Jo Burg, complex of mixed girls
For surviving through every lie they put into us now
This worlds yours’, and I swear I will stand focused
Black girls, raise up your hands; the world should clap for us

Talib Kweli – Black Girl Pain Lyrics