(Previously published at the BLACK COMMENTATOR.COM, February 25, 2021)
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees,
Pastoral scene of the gallant South
(Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit," Abel Meeropol)
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave
I am the dream and hope of the slave.
(Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise")
It was the place where children waited for a hug and a bowl of neck-bone soup. The mending of clothes took place there. People sang and danced in those homes, seemingly with not a care in the world.
Malevolence and lust resided in those homes too. All the indifference and cruelty of the enslavement enterprise represented itself in the tired bones, scared skins, and deflated spirits that prayed for freedom before laying their heads down on bare floors.
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