Black History challenge
My husband posted Maya Angelou’s poem Still I rise on Facebook for Black History month. He said if I came up with a poem he would post it as well. Being a light skinned black woman Im always conscious that my ancestors came to this nation as dark skinned Africans. Complexions changed however when slave masters cheated on their wives and raped underage girls they owned as property. I thought of the “Me too” movement and realized the young slave girls were probably saying this to each other as they populated the plantation with white babies who according to the books Queen,(Alex Haley) and Jubilee(Margaret Walker, often looked just like the master. I published this on a different sight and now share it here.
A Slave Girls Pain
Forced at such a tender age to endure so much pain
Kidnapped from her home and placed in chains
Body quaking like thunder tears falling like rain
Never to see loved ones or Africa again
Stripped naked in front of prying eyes
Sold to a stranger she knew she would despise
She recognized the moment his passion began to rise
When he raped her that night it was no surprise
In the fullness of time her secret came to light
A permanent reminder of that dreadful night
No denying this truth that was in plain sight
She was dark chocolate her baby was white
A nearby slave girl said "Sure sorry it happened to you"
There ain't nothing much any of us can do
As she held up a young child with a high yellow hue
Shrugged her shoulders and said with a sigh "Me too"
I have been told that no one wants to hear that light-skinned black people are discriminated against. I have been advised to not address this subject. It is my reality and the experience of many others like me. I believe we have just as much right to share our truth as our darker brothers and sisters. We are all in this together and history tells us the slave owners used our different complexions to cause problems. This is why we need to support one another.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on February 07, 2020:
Those were horrible times, that no one prays for again.
Ann Carr from SW England on February 05, 2020:
Hard-hitting as it is so matter-of-fact and that's what makes it powerful. I suppose they were resigned to this sort of fate but that would make it no easier to bear. Such treatment is unthinkable and yet, as Lorna says, it still happens today.
Well done for this straightforward piece.
Lorna Lamon on February 04, 2020:
I can only imagine the fear and horror these young girls would have felt at the hands of such evil. Your poem is so powerful and it makes me so angry to think that such an atrocity existed and still exists today. We should never forget what they endured and I think your poem is honest and powerful Cheryl.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on February 04, 2020:
Yes it’s a brutal truth
Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on February 04, 2020:
Good poem. Hard to read, though.