Big Black Ego

Be yourself no matter what they say.

Credit

[Warning: I listened to Kanye while I wrote this.]

The other day
Someone told me I had a big ego
I corrected her
I said put “Black” between “big” and “ego”

I got a BIG BLACK EGO

I think she was Asian-American
So I thought about history
I bet Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Rosa Parks, John Lewis, and Fannie Lou Hamer all had BIG BLACK EGOS
When they led the movement
That got the Immigration Act of 1965 passed
You know, the bill that opened up the country to her parents
Is she cool with their BIG BLACK EGOS though?

BIG BLACK EGOS are nice when they make your American Dream possible

I asked her if she likes music
if she likes dancing
She said she loves Lemonade
Cause she’s a feminist
She likes to twerk in da club to Drake cause she “started from the bottom”
She loves Motown cause she’s all eclectic like that
I wonder if she’s down with Bey and Jay and Aubrey and MJ and Stevie’s BIG BLACK EGOS
When they write beats and rhymes for her pleasure

BIG BLACK EGOS are legit when they entertain you

I asked her if she likes peanut butter and potato chips
If she ever stopped at a traffic light
Put mail in a mailbox
Given or received a blood donation
If she misses her black president now that we got this new white (orange) one
Because Carver, Crum, Morgan, Downing, Drew, and Obama all had BIG BLACK EGOS
When they invented new shit and ran the country

BIG BLACK EGOS are great when they serve you

~~~~~~~

When someone says “you got a big ego”
what they really mean is

“It’s bigger than what I think of you”

it’s a lazy way of saying
I think you should be down here
where I’ve put you
in my mind
where
in relation to me
I feel good
about where you are

If you’re all the way up there
I can’t reach you
I can’t pull you down here
I can’t grab a little of your light
I have to make my own

You might do something to outshine me
And I can’t have that
My whole self-concept might crack

~~~~~~~~

When I hear about my ego from someone else
I can’t help but think back

To my ancestor
Whose name I’ll never know
Who survived that Middle Passage on that boat full of disease
Who got sold for an amount of money I grab from the ATM
Who got raped by massa who didn’t like her BIG BLACK EGO
Who got the skin whipped off his back by massa who didn’t like his BIG BLACK EGO
Who nearly got erased from this earth
Before I had a chance to even exist
Who had to check her BIG BLACK EGO everyday
Just so I could get born one day

We start off askew
With the world
the teacher
the police officer
the judge
the social worker
the doctor
the pastor
the lawyer
telling us to park our BIG BLACK EGOS
cause they can’t make sense of it

The kicker is
Our BIG BLACK EGOS
have to be
both
big enough
and
small enough
so we can simply survive
this world
where
BIG BLACK EGOS don’t always matter

We spend our whole lives
Trying to figure out
What the right size is
The one that
Will help us get over
Just tempered enough to not be the “Angry Black Man”
Just quiet enough to not be the “Loud Black Girl”
Constantly measuring and resizing
so we don’t take up too much of
their space
that they own
they got the deeds for it
they run it all
we just rent
they give us square footage for our BIG BLACK EGOS

We just gotta make sure
they fit
inside
the box
they gave us

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This BIG BLACK EGO
got me through
a mama in prison
a mama on drugs
a black daddy I never met
a world that doesn’t like my adopted gay parents
a cop with a gun in my face
a night in jail for wrong face wrong time
a wrongful conviction for wrong face wrong time
a termination notice
the daily notices of the deaths of other BIG BLACK EGOS as I grab my morning coffee

This BIG BLACK EGO
got me
a doctorate from Harvard
42 countries and counting
this beautiful sun-kissed skin
those digits in my bank account
the book I’m about to publish
the national nonprofit for youth that I run
the schools I started for little black kids to grow their little BIG BLACK EGOS
the real friends who love me and my BIG BLACK EGO

…all while you tell me “it’s too big”

like I never heard that before.

Yeah I got a BIG BLACK EGO

Whatchu got?