The knowledge I need my children to carry…

For Black ‘History’ Month 2015:

Now, I’m going to tell you a truth,
something I want you to live by.
Eyes, and feelings through which I need you to see the world you live in.
It’s a truth no-one else will tell you, so I will have to,
a truth the world doesn’t want you to know,
but the ignorance of this could be the death of you. Inside and out.

You have already been paid for.
Read that again.
YOU, have already been paid for.
You are black, beautiful, liberated and free.

I want you to think of every negro that was lynched,
I want you to think of every slave that never flinched,
I want you to think of every man, woman and child thrown off the ship,
I want you to think of the child that worked endless shifts,
I want you to think of the old man that cried himself to sleep,
I want you to think of the toddler who never learnt to speak, but only knew to weep,
I want you to think of the widow who was too overworked to grieve,
I want you to think of the dreams they never had the chance to dream.
I want you to think of the freedom that you enjoy,
I want you to think of the wisdom that is yours to employ,
I want you to think of the suns you have the freedom to bask in,
I want you to think of the questions you have a class to ask in,
I want you to think of the people you can relax with,
I want you to think of the mattress and pillow you lay upon,
I want you to think of your freedom of travel,
I want you to think of your free choice of seat on every bus, train and plane,
I want you to think of the right to change your name,
I want you to think of the ability to change frame and to be set free from every shame.
I want you to think of every black man, woman, and child who laughed when they weren’t tickled and cried when they weren’t pinched.
I want you to think of every negro that was lynched. Eyes bulging, jaw unhinged…cold, dying with aching, freely flinching limbs.

Then stop.
Bask in your inherited black beauty,
smile,
cry,
laugh,
move,
run,
jump,
at will. In freedom. In elegance.
Take a selfie and say to yourself,

with courage,

with tenderness,

with love,

and with joy –
I am black, beautiful, and free – I, have already been paid for.
There is no price on this dear earth, for one such as me.

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