Why I love Pat Parker

Pat Parker was an African American lesbian poet who died in 1989. While Pat and I never met, her poetry has been this powerful influence in my life. like so many poets she wrote about the world around her. However, it was through her poetry that she found the place to give voice to her life and her realities as an African American lesbian feminist. She wrote about things that were personal and political. She wrote truth in her poems in a way that touched peoples lives and continues to touch people’s lives today. Perhaps the poem that has made the most significant impact on my life is called “For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend.” While I can appreciate the entire poem, it is the first two lines that continue to resonate with me today and I can continue to use in my teaching. She wrote: “the first thing you do is to forget that i'm Black. Second, you must never forget that i'm Black.”
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