IMPERIAL BLACK - Poem re Slavery

03/09/2007

IMPERIAL BLACK

Bloodshot, brooding eyes lowered
In the presence of his master
The able-bodied slave stood
Robbed of liberty and laughter;
To the highest bidder,
A young man had been sold
Condemned to a life of slavery
For just a piece of gold;
The black rose of Africa
Stripped of dignity, self-esteem
Left with only memories and
His precious African dream

The dust-laden searing Sirocco ravaged his exposed flesh of fresh wounds heightening his silent cry for freedom gushing from his every pore...he yearned to break free from his tight, blood-stained bondage
Sans choice, sans all

But then that same pitiable plea, cry for freedom, civil rights crosses centuries and can be heard even today around the world from mouths of a multitude bullied and oppressed by cruel contemporary masters, warlords or some dictatorial state.

For the ancients, traffic in humans boosted economies of empires - an era of many gods, but where was God...perhaps a maxim similar to "we don't do God" had already long been implemented, possibly being:
‘We do business, we do ruthless, we do no conscience, we do blunders, we do, imperial black.' Slavery was a way of life yes, a slave for every noble Greek or Roman wife.

Sadly the sixteenth century saw a revival, children of Africa abducted, treated like merchandise, subhumans, lowered to the wretched status of slaves they were shipped from coast to coast to suffer humiliation and the ultimate degradation...the subjugation of mind and body leading to meltdown and the zone of absolute zero.

Brutalized and afraid the helpless victims sailed across the Atlantic on a perilous journey of no return; stormy black petrels skimmed the foamy surf; but deep, deep in the valleys of the ocean the furious Inkanyamba goddess of waters had heard all and turned herself into a mighty hydrothermal vent and she raged and roared Freedom! Freedom! Spurting out boiling black steamy clouds into the inky waters below.
No, not even an entire ocean could extinguish her rage and burning cry for freedom.

Poem By Amita Chatterji © commemorating the abolition of slavery written especially for Hounslow Age Concern's Black History Month celebration 07 at The Paul Robeson Theatre.

Quote "we don't do God" made by Alastair Campbell Press Seceretary to PM Tony Blair

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