July 27, 2019

The Sounds of Blackness

The Sounds of Blackness
by Latorial Faison

In my heart there lies no defeat
But in my bosom a triumphant and rhythmic beat.
And while my spirit dances with gladness,
I am quick to recall the sounds of blackness.

I hear the moaning and the wailing
Of native Africans held captive on ships sailing
As though it were my youth of yesterday
Whispering truths to ears in dark dismay,

That long, persistent motherland call
Of anxious hope and justice for all
As though it beckoned from higher heights,
I hear the songs of steal away nights.

That disdainful whip, the startling crack,
The sound of fifty lashes to my brother man's back.
We listened to hate's hypocrisy and religion.
We prayed for deliverance complete with wisdom.

I hear Harriet's footsteps and her hushing sacred sounds
As she walked without fear in search of freedom's grounds
To lead as many captives safely to northern light,
Her savvy spirit vowed to never give up the fight.

The sighs of relief at a kingdom finally come,
Freedom at last for us, the worst of sins to some.
But to the surprise and shock of a divided nation
Came the lyrics of a long overdue slave Emancipation.

The endless cheering must have been loud
While those who stood free made our ancestors proud.
And the old Africans' dream really did come true
In a nation where their people were brought to be subdued.

Dr. King shouted "Free at last, free at last!"
And his dream of a promised land did come to pass.
The sit-ins, the marches, the demands for equal rights
Were necessary for those freed in darkness and deprived of light.

So, in my daily living, I do not dare ignore the sounds
But am honored that my ancestors were strong and freedom bound.
When fellowmen can't remember the truth about this sadness,
Pause to share with them one of the many sounds of blackness.

from 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History by Latorial Faison
Copyrighted 2003 All rights reserved.