• Abi Adamson

No, You Can't "Pick My Brains"​ For Free 



You wanna “pick my brains” then show me the money


I don’t keep my lights on with your flattery honey


Praising me before you make the impending ask


I can see it coming from a mile off, so no need to mask


The fact that you’re being cheeky thinking I’m for free


You’re metaphorically on my neck with your cheap knee


I now know my worth in every single way


You think this is a game but I’m not here to play


You’re wearing me down and it’s really not fair


You disregard the trauma I go through, you really don’t care


If you cared, you would take a moment to think


About the shame you bring on yourself, how low can you sink


To assume a Black womxn like me isn’t worth the cash


Pushing forward your famous company name to be flash


I don’t care about which company or brand you work for


You want my services - you pay, or there’s the door


I don’t need your platform for exposure, thanks but I’m good


What I need is your respect to stand tall the way it should


Black womxn are always hidden in plain sight


We’ve had to rescue ourselves and be our own knight


Boasting you’re an ally but breaking out no sweat,


I’m not your circus animal and I’m not your little pet


Would you approach a white man with the same talk


Of course you wouldn’t, they’ll tell you to effing walk


So why do you think my services are not worthy of receipt


It’s this ancestral hubris, the same lies and deceit.


That led Black folx to suffer through hundreds of years,


Our ankles shackled, our freedom drowning in fears


But history is finally turning its head right around


Because we are free now and no longer bound


That’s not to say we’ve reached our North Star


But we fought through our past and we’ve come very far


So don’t insult me by thinking I’m not worthy to be paid


I’m not your house mammy and I’m not your maid


I’ve been overlooked for years but I’m visible now


I will not be pulled back into darkness, that I just won’t allow


Acknowledging my journey here hasn’t always been easy


Some personal stories I have will make you feel queasy


The experiences I talk about can be painful to share


They strip me of my privacy and they leave me bare


I do want people to understand the scars that they leave


The complexity of racism and the wounds that it weaves


Black womxn are the least respected on this earth


It’s a burden we carry at the moment of our birth


It’s one we’re trying to change with each passing day


And you asking for free labour is part of the delay


You’re thinking I should be grateful, to smile and accept


I’m a Black womxn who used to cry as I slept


Wondering when I too will be given the same chance


But I'm free of those rejections and I can proudly dance


I love helping and training folx, that I enjoy


Don’t click your fingers and demand though as I’m not a toy


My lived experiences are real and they made me who I am


If you ask me to do free work then I’ll mark you as spam


I’ve overcome things you’ll never understand


So run me what I’m owed please, that would be grand


Don’t get me wrong, your flattery is very kind


But it costs money for me to share my mind


Unless it’s a charity that’s genuine in its cause


Then that’s my prerogative to agree to or pause.


See Black womxn as equals, and treat us like so


I don’t want you thinking it’s all about dough


It’s more about giving us our deserved respect


If you slide into my DMs foolishly, then you will get checked


No arrogance here, I believe in what I have to give


I can’t keep doing things for free as I too have to live


So before I bow out, remember what I say


You can “pick my brains”, but only if you pay.


Abi O Adamson (@aoadamson)