Say No, Black Woman, Say No – Gcina Mhlope

One of my favourite poems to emerge from women’s resistance to apartheid.

 

Say No – by Gcina Mhlope

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your jobless son a tsotsi
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your husband at the age of 60 
a boy
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they rape your daughter in detention and call her
a whore
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your white sister
a madam
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your white brother
a Baas
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call a trade unionist
a terrorist
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they give you a back seat
in liberation wagon
Say No
Yes Black Woman
a Big No

 

Taken from Women Speak: Reflections on Our Struggles, 1982-1997, edited by Shamim Meer, p. 44

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