I wanted to write a blog post dedicated to Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter movement and have been thinking about how I could go about it for a while now. I’ve tried writing one numerous times but could never figure out what I really wanted to say and ended up continuously deleting and rewriting it.
Instead of writing a blog post in tribute to Black History Month, I’ve decided to share this poem I recently read in class that really struck me.
Confession by James Berry
I had a condition, she said.
I was born in England, you see.
Till last week. I was seventeen
years old. I’ve never seen
a Caribbean island, where my parents
came from. But I was born to know
black people had nothing. Black people
couldn’t run their own countries,
couldn’t take part in running the world.
Black people couldn’t even run
a good two-people relationship.
They couldn’t feed themselves, couldn’t
make money, couldn’t pass exams
and couldn’t keep the law. And
black people couldn’t get awards
on television. I asked my mother
why black people never achieved,
never explored, always got charity.
My mother said black people were cursed.
I knew that.
I knew black people were cursed.
Then going through a book on art
one night, a painting showed me
other people in struggle.
It showed me a different people like that.
Ragged, barefoot, hungry looking
they were in struggle.
I looked up.
The people needed: other people needed.
Or needed to remember their struggle
Or even just to know
No. Not cursed.
Black people were not cursed.
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