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No Apologies

I don’t apologize.

Why should I?

For requesting

…a smaller class size?

…a positive quality of life?

…living with no strife?


I don’t apologize.

Why should I?

For standing on principle?

For thinking beyond self?

For struggling against those with wealth?


I don’t apologize.

Why should I?

For wanting to make a change?

For knowing my union history?

For being able to think critically?


I’ll never apologize.

Still think I’m a lie?


  1. James Vincent Speller
    James Vincent Speller November 1, 2012

    True education would denote the fact that you are more than “Black Woman” The word “Black” denotes a color and does not assign ethnicity! African Latino Woman?, African American Woman? African Asian Woman? or African Caucasian Woman? Black is what our skin is associated with, it does not however tell the world your origin, your history, your association! There a millions of folks who are catergorized under the term “Black” but this does not tell me anything about this person other than the fact that they have African blood running through their veins! So, Who are you? An African American Woman, African Asian Woman, African Latino, or African Caucasian! or are you just a “Black Woman” Note: The Chinese Have China, The Portuguese Have Portugal, The Germans Have Germany, The Italians Have Italy, and The Koreans Have Korea! What Land does a “Black Woman” come from? You are more of an educated African American who has lived “The “Black Experience” and you refuse to apologize! But then nobody really asked you too, now have they?

    • lzowens
      lzowens November 1, 2012

      James, I hear you on the point of Black being a color and not an ethnicity. Deeper than what I, or anyone for that matter, chooses to call myself is the conversation as to why I identify that way. I am very clear that I am an African. I am ambiguous about my feelings of being an American. I become enraged at times that I have to identify with a continent as opposed to people who get to identify with a country–as you point out. I am not an authority on Africa, but I know enough to know that not all African people are the same. All this to say, “Black” is what I best identify with based on my life experiences because, in a way, I do feel “landless.” Race is a complex concept, just as ethnicity is. Why does it matter so much to you what I call myself? I feel as though you’re suggesting I am less righteous just because I chose to call myself Black in my blog.

      I’m not clear on what you mean by the second to last line.

      I guess to give my poem some context, which always helps when you have access to the poet, I do feel as though I have been asked to apologize. Within the last week, I, and the group of union members I work with, have been called “liars” and “dishonest” because of our views on public education and the role of teachers’ unions in it. Beyond that, yeah, I feel that I’m being asked to apologize every time I open my mouth and something comes out that is not in line with mainstream America or whatever the flavor is that it is pushing that day, or whenever I walk in a room with three inch heels on when I’m already six feet tall in flats. You probably get the picture: Too many people want me to feel less than what I am, but I’m not and I won’t.

  2. James Vincent Speller
    James Vincent Speller November 1, 2012

    Error: “Too” is suppose to be “To”

  3. kaleena
    kaleena February 21, 2013

    You don’t have to apologize to James either. lol This artistic expression is perfect because it is yours. I lovedddd this.

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