When I Am Liberated

When I Am Liberated

by Aja Witt
inspired by Feminista Jones

When I am Liberated
I will learn to love
I will learn to trust
To see my worth

My worth

Which you ignore
To harass my spirit
My soul
My people

When I am Liberated

I will speak freely
Understanding that your ‘isn’t’ ain’t better than my ‘axe’
That your hair ain’t ‘good hair’
That my “attitude” is passion
That my “bitterness” is justified
I will walk down the sidewalk
Down your sidewalk, and persist
Not slip into the street
Or kick up dirt with my Converse
The new pair
The purple pair

With the unicorns that are as magical as I am

When I am Liberated
I will speak loudly
No longer silenced by fear
My skin
My hair
All six inches of it
My Feminism
“I hope that didn’t sound too mean…”
“Do I sound nervous?”

When I am Liberated

When I am Liberated
I will have sex
I will have lots of sex

Not vanilla sex, but sex that is born of Jodeci

I will wear t-shirts and dresses that make my breasts look full
I will wear them without a jacket
I am no longer hiding
I will shave once a day, or once a year
Without feeling “disgusting”
Without feeling


When I am Liberated
I will love myself
I will love my God
SHE is worthy of love
I will love my mother
My sisters
My brother
My people
Even when they make mistakes
Your people…
One day…

When I am Liberated

Fem B. Wells axed me:

Do [you] even know what Liberation looks like for [yourself]?

I sat and I pondered
What is my Liberation?
Have I ever felt it?
Would I ever feel it?

When oppression is the norm, what does Liberation feel like?
What will it look like…

When I am Liberated


Aja Witt is an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa working toward a B.A. in Journalism and African American History. She enjoys watching professional wrestling and combating misogynoir. Her greatest inspiration is her mother Darlene and Shirley Chisholm who famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”