Wearing All Black

Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, Ph.D.
1 min readApr 1, 2021

my mother
hates
when
i wear
all black

it should be reserved for those who mourn, she says

i fell
in love
with
black clothing
on the east coast

New York City

subway passengers
semi-patiently
waiting for trains
clothed in all black
exuding
quiet
unbothered
laser-sharp focus

Confidence

an aura
i’ve
always admired
but never knew
how to acquire

not until recently
so i’ve been wearing all black

last week
my mother jokingly asked,
Lakeya, are you mourning?

a response
came from my depths,
Yes, mommy. I am.

i went on to tell her —
i am mourning
the woman
who needed
to be laid to rest
the former me

the woman who
compromised
apologized
performed
shrank
and endured
far more
than her gentle soul could bear

i am mourning her
but i never want
to see her again

wisdom
is birthing
a new woman
who, with time, will be
like those

New York City
subway passengers
whose bodies
do not budge
whenever the
uptown A train
forcefully rumbles
through the station

like them –
i will be
steady
still
unmovable
clothed in all black

Confident

with time
with time

--

--

Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, Ph.D.

Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture | Writer | Speaker | Twitter @LakeyaOmogun