my pearls were beads of sweat
wrung for weary bodies' pain,
instead of rings upon my hands
I wore swollen bursting veins.
My ornaments were the whip-lash's scar
my diamond, perhaps, a tear.
Instead of paint and powder on my face
I wore a solid mask of fear to see my blood so spilled.
And you, women seeing
spoke no protest
but cuddled down in your pink slavery
as though somehow my wasted blood
confirmed your superiority.' Beulah Richardson
NASCENT YET, the singular movement of black women, as women, I believe can be realized. Because the necessary sense of urgency is obscured behind the facade of other forms of expressed empathy and solidarity, the few omens appear as ignored and undeciphered glyphs. But listen to the voices sometimes, though I am not inducing you to magnify what in any case is only rudimentary and fragmentary. If there is a "feminine consciousness"(and the words embody a trailing off behind the ineffably seductive); its roots are here.