Posted in Poetry

THE TRADITION

“Carry it on now.

Carry it on.

Carry it on now.

Carry it on.

Carry on the tradition.

There were Black People since the childhood of

time

who carried it on.

In Ghana and Mali and Timbuktu

we carried it on.

Carried on the tradition.

We hid in the bush

when the slavemasters came

holding spears.

And when the moment was ripe,

leaped out and lanced the lifeblood

of would-be masters.

We carried it on.

On slave ships,

hurling ourselves into oceans.

Slitting the throats of our captors.

We took their whips.

And their ships.

Blood flowed in the Atlantic—

and it wasn’t all ours.

We carried it on.

Fed Missy arsenic apple pies.

Stole the axes from the shed.

Went and chopped off master’s head.

We ran. We fought.

We organized a railroad.

An underground.

We carried it on.

In newspapers. In meetings.

In arguments and streetfights.

We carried it on.

In tales told to children.

In chants and cantatas.

In poems and blues songs

and saxophone screams,

We carried it on.

In classrooms. In churches.

In courtrooms. In prisons.

We carried it on.

On soapboxes and picket lines.

Welfare lines, unemployment lines.

Our lives on the line,

We carried it on.

In sit-ins and pray-ins

And march-ins and die-ins,

We carried it on.

On cold Missouri midnights

Pitting shotguns against lynch mobs.

On burning Brooklyn streets.

Pitting rocks against rifles,

We carried it on.

Against water hoses and bulldogs.

Against nightsticks and bullets.

Against tanks and tear gas.

Needles and nooses.

Bombs and birth control.

We carried it on.

In Selma and San Juan.

Mozambique. Mississippi.

In Brazil and in Boston,

We carried it on.

Through the lies and the sell-outs.

The mistakes and the madness.

Through pain and hunger and frustration,

We carried it on.

Carried on the tradition.

Carried a strong tradition.

Carried a proud tradition.

Carried a Black tradition.

Carry it on.

Pass it down to the children.

Pass it down.

Carry it on. Carry it on now.

Carry it on TO FREEDOM!”

(from “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur, (2016) Angela Davis)

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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