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Brittany Frizzelle - 1st Place Winner - LUV Poetry Contest

[1st Place]

Well, who taught you how to love?

Who Taught You to Love? by Brittany Frizzelle

Who taught you to love?

The lady on TV who was beat on and cheated on?

The parent who had to hold their wounds closed so they couldn’t hold you close?

Or the parent who was so ashamed that they barely spoke your name?

Or the friend with more toys than presence so they always bragged about their presents?

Was it the sister with six dudes but no bills so she opened her legs and closed her heart to feels?

Or the brother who hid his love to be accepted in a world where he has to hide himself and is still rejected?

Who taught you to love?

Why'd you listen?

Did it feel good to be pushed away?

Did it feel good to cry yourself to sleep at night?

You like covering up the pain and shame with fake smiles and fake fame?

You like feeling empty inside with so much shit in your space you can't even sit inside?

Or is it the loneliness taking over your insides while you let just anybody inside?

Or maybe the joy of never having to really love b/c honestly you don’t know real love?

Who taught you to love?


Or did you just overlook all that and still learn to love yourself?

Author's Note:

Who Taught You To Love was written in 2019 when I was figuring out if I wanted to be in a serious relationship with someone. I was reading all types of self help books but when I looked out into the real world all I saw was love=pain. I felt like people didn't know what love was and really only knew how to imitate what we had already seen. I think I was reading Sisters of the Yam by bell hooks, rest in Power, and realized that I didn't even know how to love my own self and with that this poem appeared.


About the Artist


Brittany Frizzelle is a Durham, NC native who graduated from Howard University in 2015. After graduation, she began teaching in Title 1 schools and began a Masters in Social Work in 2017. Deciding that neither social work nor teaching would be the solution to the school to prison pipeline she transferred to the University of Miami and just completed a joint degree in Law, Community and Social Justice. Since beginning at UM, Brittany has worked with the Miami Public Defender's office, Guardian Ad Litem, and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, NC. On campus she has represented the National Lawyers Guild as president, the Black Law Students Association as community service chair and Southern Region of BLSA liaison, the Children and Youth Law Clinic as a legal enter for foster youth, and Street Law to further prepare her for her work ahead. She plans to open up numerous community outreach centers that focuses on reentry for youth and educational and financial success for the Black community. She is currently a full time Reproductive Justice Organizer at Power U Center for Social Change where she is beginning to organize parents and teachers to support student campaigns and develop their own leadership around civic engagement. Brittany is the Owner of Unlearn 2 Relearn, LLC where she has published 2 poetry books Sometimes I Cry and To All My Students. She has a blog and podcast and has 2 new projects releasing this Summer.

*Winner of Cash Prize and I Am Root Merch


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