Excerpt from my eBook, Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People by Dr. Maxine Thompson (2016)

“Whether the media forgets, we should never forget. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alva Braziel, Delrawn Smalls, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and on the anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death, everything is the same. Let’s not forget Trayvon Martin, either. Do you recall any convictions for these murder victims? Do you expect to see any convictions for the more recent murder victims, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, which were captured on video and live streamed for the world to see? Or more recently, Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, who was shot by police Monday, 7-18-16, with his hands held up in the air?” (July 2016)

Juneteenth.com: “Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.”

Clarion Cry for Freedom!

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

Juneteenth Poem

June 17, 2017

(In Memory of Philando Castile)

Ever wondered how the ancestors survived
the boat ride from Africa to America?
Smells of everybody’s lives jumbled together
as they lay flanked side by side, in a cesspool
of blood, tears, and stool, dreaming the undreamable.

Deep in the bowels of a slave ship,
where many made their tomb,
a mother’s tears flowed from dried-eyed ducts,
for the suckling babe snatched from her breast,
while hating the enemy whose seed now grew in her womb.

Wait a minute, that’s my old poem, ‘The Middle Passage,’ 1992, regarding crack babies.
Scratch that.
Have things gotten any better in 2017?
Yesterday, I went to Leimert Park for a write-a-thon outing
and stumbled onto a Juneteenth celebration.
Revolutionary poet spouting words about “Police brutality”
Signs saying Stolen Legacy,
Liberation.
Libations.
Mass incarceration.
Sounds of Michael Jackson in the air
Michael Jackson impressionist moonwalking in golden gym shoes
Smells of alcohol mixed with medical marijuana wafting on the wind
Harambee’s Nag Champa Incense
Rivaling smells of smoked Barb-que
Rastafarian dancers singing and performing on the stage
Black men playing chess,

Our hair boasting Afros, Twists, Naturals,
Black to Blonde to Silver dreadlocks,
Dashikis Colors/green/red/black/yellow/brown.
Skin colors, sable browns to ochre to magnolia,
African Drummers
Down-home Blues bumping.
Thin alcoholic woman twerking.
Our melanin belies the years of razor-cut faces, eyes fox-fire red,
Reflecting years of pain,
Men popping fingers.
Here we are, part of the Diaspora,
I love my people.
We love, we care, we die…too soon,
Terrorism is right here on American soil
for Black blood which runs in the street
At the hands of those who are to protect and to serve.
Let us not forget how the killer of Philando Castile has gone free
On Juneteenth.
Where is the justice?
A Mother’s Tears…
Juneteenth…..Freedom.

Tagged with:

Filed under: Black LifeBlack Life MattersInjusticePhilando CastilePolice BrutalityPolice CorruptionPost traumatic slavery DisorderRacial DiscriminationRacismRedemptionSlaverySocial Issuesbereavement

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