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  • 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)

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