The Black In My Pen Ink Has Ancestors – Poem from 5/2/18

Okay
Let’s play it your way.
Slavery was a choice, you say?
Black people chose to live this way?
Now, most of us question you like, how sway?
Changing the acronym to fit what would Jay-Z say.
Part of me, in the benefit of the doubt kind of way
Wants to think you mean we need mental leeway
To break perceived chains, make a gateway,
And that will lead us to dreams and a bigger payday.
You can use nigga in the colloquial way
because slaves on plantations heard nigger colloquially every day.
Maybe it all started a similar way
Where skin-kin like you sold us away
But it wasn’t enough for the trans-Atlantic trade
So, they took what they wanted without delay.
Add hundreds of years of being put on display
as nothing more than a free labor buffet.
Perhaps, next, you’ll say black women chose rape
And the way their bodies are still fetishized today.
It’s hard for me to think racism is all hearsay
When security followed me at the mall just the other day
But that doesn’t happen to you, because they know you can pay.
Tell this to those who traveled on the underground railway
Where the free ones went back into the fray
And along the path, they sang and prayed.
Though, with your rhetoric, some might think it was an actual train,
That we handpicked the metal in our chains,
And what the brands on our backs did say.
It’s made up that, back then, you could have been lynched for looking at the president’s daughter the wrong way
Or have a burning cross on your lawn, courtesy of the KKK.
We should get over it, and let you bray.
Ancestors are sleeping dogs that should lay.
“Never forget” should be reserved for hurricanes.
But hey,
I’m happy that you’re being honest today,
And not letting society affect what you have to say
Because it’s not like your freedom of speech came with a price to pay;
When they declared “all men” and “equal,” you weren’t part of that wordplay.
Love and acceptance shouldn’t lead us astray
From all the history that forced us here in the first place.
The only choice was “death before bondage” on the waterway.
Oh,
And Flint, Michigan, still has no clean water as of yesterday.

-Rose Skye

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