’10 Things I Want to Say to A Black Woman’

by Liane Membis

University of Pennsylvania graduate Joshua Bennett has something to say to all the Black women out there.

He loves you. And so should other Black men.

His words come at a critical time for Black women, at the end of a year which saw the media jumping on the “single Black woman” syndrome, tensions growing between Black men and women, and society questioning the Black family. In his poem, “10 Things I Want to Say to A Black Woman,” Bennett describes a Black woman’s worth and the importance of Black men in their lives.

Bennett is a well-known spoken word artist. He recently received the United Kingdom Government Marshall Scholarship for graduate studies in the U.K., along with 35 other winners in 2009.

  • Me27


  • http://ninamdotwells.blogspot.com/ Nina M. Wells

    I hate we don’t have speakers @ work! hopefully I can remember to watch this video whn I get off!

  • Miss Jae

    I have posted his performances of this poem on my FBezzy wall numerous times. It’s very uplifting!

  • Zama

    Seeing this recital has come at a time when I needed it most. When I had lost all faith in myself as a black woman. Although he may never see this…Thank you Joshua Bennett for giving me reason to love me again.

  • http://jocdajourneyman87.blogspot.com Stephanie

    I just posted this on my twitter, facebook, and now I’m headed to my google blog.

    Man, oh man, you gave me life with your words! Blessed! Blessed! Blessed!

    Uplifting! I mean, there are no words to really describe these words, these poetic expressions of the mind pronounced through the mouth! Just blessed! My God! lol

  • http://vehemmag.com Jay-VehemMag


  • Lady Laydeee

    get a shave you blasphemer

  • Liah

    He’s a great example of up and coming youth. I’m a bit biased towards him because he’s from Philly too. Who knew he went to Penn? It’s rare to see a brown face walking along that campus.

  • http://adivastateofmind.com A Diva State of Mind

    LOVE IT!! Thank you Joshua Bennett for reminding us how wonderful and amazing we are!

  • steph302

    Nina, don’t forget! It’s worth it!!

  • Me

    I have been following this young man for years! He has another amazing piece about Sean Bell that he performed at the National Youth Slam comp a few years back.
    But this piece…sigh

  • Tee

    He is actually a graduate of UPenn, not a senior. He is attending grad school in England now. Check his fan page folks lol! I love this piece though.


  • African Mami

    Sweet Jesus! I felt emotions coarse through me as I listened.
    This line had me speechless:

    ‘The way to a black man’s heart is not through his stomach, is through the heaven in your hello, the echo of unborn galaxies that bounces forth through your vocal chords that melts ice grills into oceans, baptizing our lips’

    Damn!!!!!! Damn!!! DAMN!

  • Dee

    Lowkey almost cried.

  • Fox

    Whew! I didn’t know a black man could be so passionate about black women and express it as eloquently and honestly as this. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    Thanks for reading! We value your comments!

  • TElle

    This made me exhale…. Perspective like this makes up for a lot of the ignorance we’re forced to encounter. :-)

  • secret ninja

    WOW. this is was deep, powerful, lots of force. this is immediately being favorited. wonderful work. i’m pretty speechless.

  • kt


  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Fleur_Belle

    Absolutely Beautiful! Loved it.

  • Nicole

    He is from NY but he went to penn state

  • Savoy

    Geez y’all are STILL looking for validation from black men (or anywhere else). Keep on hanging on the words of some brother. Love yourselves ladies.

  • Alexandra

    Thank you for saying what I was about to say.
    I just knew “some” posters would get wet panties over this.

  • Tee

    Really ladies? I am all for self-love, but there is nothing wrong with getting praise from a young black man who appreciates what we should feel about ourselves. You can love yourself and have someone else love you. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  • Clnmike

    Unbelievable, dude expresses his love for black women and you got women spitting sour grapes. Than wonder why chivalry and respect for black women is dead, its dead cause there are bunch of ax murders slicing and dicing everything that moves. Big up to the brotha because I’m betting he still loves yall anyway.

  • Kema

    Why do you let the minority represent the majority. Read all the comments again. How many were negative?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Latham/716647294 Paula Latham

    YES! That Sean Bell piece is wonderful! He is such a great and wonderful young guy! Had such a great time getting to know him at NPS back in 2009… Truly talented!!!!

  • binks

    How is it seeking validation if someone willingly want to praise and spread a positive message, poem, sonnet, song or whatever to black women in general? Is he not allowed to say how he feels about black women nor can black women accept it and cheer for it? You can accept praise, compliments and kind words from others openly without necessary wanting validation of your self worth or maybe his words hit someone deeply and uplifted/inspired her so that is not a crime either let’s kill the drama. With that being said I thought it was nice

  • Clnmike

    I didn’t say they were the majority.

  • Miss Jae

    “Unbelievable, dude expresses his love for black women and you got women spitting sour grapes.”

    I agree! The poem was beautiful, but it just goes to show that you can’t please everybody! You can’t be too positive, but you can’t be too negative! *smdh*

  • Savoy

    Oh please lol. Was this really necessary? Ok he loves black women. And? I love apples, black men and dark chocolate. Give me a break. This dude is looking for brownie points. How does he treat the women in his life? Is he faithful? Is he worth listening to? There are a lot of black men who love black women, so one negro on twitter professing his love of sistahs does’t melt my heart strings. Again, some black women (from what I’ve read on this site) are always seeking some odd acceptance from a man (they don’t know). My grapes aren’t sour. I just don’t see the point of him doing it or this site posting it. Carry on though.

  • Oluwatoni

    THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! Self-love is important of course, but love from others is clearly a human necessity.

  • Miss Jae

    Why are folks sooo up in arms about a brotha professing his love of black women?! Some folks are never satisfied & they wonder why they are single. It’s not because you haven’t found the right person yet, it’s because you’re too damn bitter & too damn jaded to accept a damn compliment!

    Did someone ask him to write a poem about how wonderful black women are? NO! He did it on his own feel will. And who’s to say that this poem wasn’t dedicated to the women in his life that helped to raise him, or for his significant other. He could have kept this poem to himself, but that’s the thing about doing poetry…until you take “from the page to the stage”, the poem isn’t complete.

    Now if his poem was about black woman being tricks or hoes, this post would have had over 100 comments in less than an hour. So how do you want it, because you can’t have it both ways! And if you don’t understand his reasoning for doing this poem, then that means he wasn’t talking to you & move on! It’s common sense folks…but then again, sense isn’t really that common…

  • Me27

    I’m confused. You say you aren’t bitter, but your comment suggests otherwise.

    I don’t understand why you can’t see this for what it is…a great poem about black women written by a young black man. For those of us who liked it, we’re not looking for validation from a man, we liked it because it’s a great poem. If you don’t like the poem, then say that. But to look down on those of use that do, is just rude.

    And why wouldn’t this site post this video? Clutch is a magazine that caters to young, black women. It only makes sense for them to post a video that’s directed at the majority of their readers.

  • http://www.lovebrownsugar.com LoveBrownSugar

    Congrats to Josh for this powerful performance! Went to college with him, he’s really an amazing individual and such a hard worker and passionate about everything he touches. Major kudos!

  • Renee

    YESSS!!! I love this piece. Thank you brother Joshua :)

  • Alexandra

    How does predicting comments make me ‘bitter’? I never said anything about the poet or the poem itself, I just agreed with a comment & stated that some commenter’s got wet panties (excitement). That makes me bitter? Ok…

  • Alexandra

    “Now if his poem was about black woman being tricks or hoes, this post would have had over 100 comments in less than an hour.”

    You best believe. And I agree. If it was about ‘interracial dating’ or ‘mixed heritage’, same thing.
    Now how is your prediction, any different from mine?

  • Dee

    Very nice Joshua. As for the few negative comments, ignore them. If you don’t know already, we can be our own worst enemy. I deal with the wrath all the time and have gotten to the point where I can predict it coming and just sit back and watch the behavior manifest.

  • Kim

    The few posters you chose to concentrate on have deep seeded issues that only God can work out. The poem was beautiful. Even if you were not a black woman, you could not deny the beauty of it.

    The “enemy within” does not exist only in male form. People better wake up.

  • nnaattaayy

    touche, me27. lol

  • Grace London

    I was multi-tasking (as I do), watching the film Atonement (for the first time) and reading Clutch, listening to this ‘black’ man cite his love for ‘black’ women. I have to mention the film, because here, once again, is another opportunity for sections of society to continually perpetuate ONE kind of woman/hood on the pedestal of desireability/beauty (the camera gorges itself on Knightly!) in its main ‘white’ (painfully thin – a body-type problematic for many women) actress. We have allowed sight privildge over other senses, so images are an important signifyer in our environments – whether we acknowledge it or not. There are TOO many images which place ‘black’ women in painful places – whether we know it or not. I have a little ‘black’ girl, and I’m trying to raise her to understand that she is beautiful in a world which tries to tell her otherwise. This man’s poem is not perfect, but it is a good place to start. A place to inspire others to OPENLY follow. Then from them all the best will rise and help redress the imbalance. There will always be naysayers and I would use these folk to help get our ‘stuff’ right. To them I would ask, “what are you doing about it?”. So I for one will say…’Thank you my brother’.

  • BritDefine

    I FREAKING LOVE THIS!!! It makes me want to do a “10 Things I want to say to a Black Man” because I am totally in love with him right now….he just made me even more Proud to be a Beautiful Black Woman!!! So good to see a Black Man lift up a Black Woman with his words that are so powerful!!! I love this!!

  • BrownDiva30

    Love this.. !!!

  • Jamsunsh

    Simply Beautiful!

  • Shawna

    Speechless with a tear.

  • Frana

    I listened to this so many times last night. I cried tears of joy. I was proud to be a black woman. I love that he chose to make such a beautiful poem for the sistas. Yes it sucks that some people are beign negative but you have to ignore them. The enemy is always working to bring people down. I will DEFINITELY be lifting this VERY talented man to God in many prayers, for he is a blessing!
    Thanks you my brotha, thank you!

  • kiana

    Oh my gosh…that was so beautiful!! And he is adorable…this poem has really gotten me teary-eyed! :’D

  • Darielle

    I know I am pretty late in finding this video but I felt like I should comment anyway. I am a 17 year old black female and this poem literally brought me to tears. It is hard for me to go to school and see and be attracted to black boys but then get shut down because they don’t like black girls or black girls are too “ghetto” or they’re too “loud”. They don’t see the beauty that lies in me because they are too caught up in their stupid perceptions and narrow-minded observations of what black women are like. And recently I have just given up all hope of possibly finding a black boy that will be attracted to me for me and see me for who I truly am (not the stereotypes). So when I came across this video poem my heart just swelled.It was like someone finally understood,like this man sees what I’ve been desperately wanting other boys to see. No I was not searching to be validated nor searching for something to lift my spirits. I just feel like in some strange way that God spoke through this young man to speak to me to show that I don’t have to give up hope and that there are still some black men out there that see the value of a black woman. I feel that this was just the encouragement that I needed to hear.So great job Mr.Joshua Bennett and thank you!The Lord is really working through you to touch other people’s hearts.

  • LaSonia

    It is a shame that some black women have gotten so use to being degraded that they can’t acknowledge a brother when he is spitting something positive. My plea is that this young man keeps up the marvelous work that he is doing. If you haven’t been through the struggle, then you are blessed beyond measure. But for those of us who have gone through it and are still going through it, let us have this moment. You see…he is speaking in the voice that we black mothers pray our sons will speak in one day. There has to be some recognition for the hard work we put into living this life. I only hope that for every time a black woman throws a positive word back into a black man’s face….that she also throws a negative word back into the faces of those who beat us up continually….in the videos….in the movies…in the magazines…in the songs…in the streets. This poem is what this young man is doing to fix all of the negativity that he has seen thrown at the strongest pillars of the black community. Let him have his word. Let him show his appreciation to his mother, as well as all black women, without being criticized and misjudged.

  • D

    Um. The cool thing about what he’s saying is that it offsets the negative commentary about black women and is heartfelt. And it is speech going viral, which has demonstrated itself as being tremendously powerful in enriching and changing minds, also empowering people. Also, he is adding his voice to that of black men who love black women. And that is a positive role model for some men.

  • janet

    What has soceity turned into ?
    Why can’t people just appreciate and learn to acknowledge and give praise when its needed.
    People need to stop hating. Its life.

  • Tiffany

    He’s performing in NY on July 31st at Columbia University. Can’t wait!

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