Poetic Writings

About the struggle of the Black-American-Negro-People to free their body and liberate their minds from the oppressive conditions of slavery and it's aftermath.

The intent is to perceive and depict their situation in the stark terms of a people whose only lasting salvation is that which they can hammer and forge with human hands and minds, without reliance on the God(s) of their oppressors.

Please use the links below to quickly navigate to the collection
of humanist poems (or continue to scroll down).

The Lord's Prayer In Vain,Go Down Harriet, Way Down Alabama, The Power of the World in His Hands, The Forgotten Heros, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, Shields Green Osborne Anderson, I Come From A Long Time Ago, If and Why, Before I Live My Life As A Slave, In Deeds I Put My Trust, Shame On You King James, What Good Is Heaven, O Death Where Art Thou, Jesse Jesse, Terror Without Reparations, Go Down In Slavery Land, I'm Gonna Move On Up A Little Higher, I Took A Mind To Be Free, In That Great Deep, By These Hands, The Lords Of Their Life, The First To Defy,


The Lords Prayer In Vain. The Lord’s of slavery were sent
to rule and subtugate the will and desire of the enslaved to be
free. They conspired to invoke docile and compliant teachings
to keep the enslaved, “in chain”, and in an ignorant state of
mind. Once it is known that Lords are a figment of the
imagination and are human, the fear of their power and indeed
their efforts to induce prayerful obedience is in vain.

The Lords Prayer In Vain
To the Lords of heavenly acclaim
And of earthly fame
Who hath walked with unrestrained might
As shepards without earnest delight

I speak on behalf of my people
Who hath walked a great plight
They were nameless in your sight

To the Lords who conspired to be saviours of all souls
While imprisoning the least of humanity’s offspring

They personify the evils that humankind has endured
They are without mercy and
Unworthy of righteous acclaim

To the Lords that I bear witness against
In the spirit and flesh
Who controls and oversees all that I posses
Whose spirit spreads discords to the
Weary souls of woe
Whose rod and staff inflict wrath

Upon the least likely foe
Who taketh food out of the mouths of children
And starves the hungry and dispossessed

To the Lords whose soil I toil
Without reaping the bounty
To the Lords who hath me to labor in vain
While mine enemies mill the grain

These Lords are no comforter of me and mine
These Lords knoweth that there in no oil in my lamp
To warm my body from the damp
These Lords who giveth an empty cup, maketh me weep,
Tears in my sleep

To these Lords who decreed others free while my people are manacled and enslaved
For the balance of their days
They buy and sell human beings to pay wages they have not earned
They taketh away peace and tranquillity
While their heirs live among the splendour
And me and mine live as peasants within squalor

These Lords and overseers will have my rath and anger
To follow them until my days of living are ended
There is no reason to sing “halleluah”
They were never saintly
Whatever my works come to be
I trust that the Lords I have known
Receive their crown of thorns
If my will be done
They will come to an ignoble end
I pity the sheepish who hath
An overseer for a shepard
He/she will only know trouble
For the balance of their days

These Lords did not come to save the unfree
They provide no refuge for those born into misery
These Lords are not deserving of my prayers

I pray this Lord’s prayer in vain
I ask that they bow their heads in shame
Top

Go Down Harriet

Go down, Harriet
Way down
Beyond, the Mason-Dixon line
Go down Harriet
Way down
To that, man-stealing land
When you get there
Watch while you pray
The Pat rollers
Will be there
You must leave before
The break of day
Talk softly
Like a thief in
The night

Walk boldly
Gather the people
And take your flight

When your people was in
Slavery land
The overseer would not
Let them go
They lived in his dungeon’s
In the Southland
The overseer would not
Let them go

Then along came
A woman
Who had no fear of
Any man
A ransom was
Placed on her head
They prayed
To find her dead

She brought many
Out of slavery
In the dead of night
She was brave, without fright
The bounty hunters
Were sure to fail
The blood hounds always
Lost her trail
Top

Way Down in Alabama

In the days of old
Before freedom came
The people of colour
With ebony-hued skin

Lived amid squalor
Shame, and ruins
They were spit upon
And called out of their name

The people of lesser colour
With white-starched skin
Misused and abused them
The tempted them to sin

They were living in
The Wilderness
In the valley of despair
On the outskirts of the city
Oh! What a shame and pity

They had to drink from the
“Unclean colored only” fountain
And eat from the servant’s table

Their meat was tainted and
Made into lard
Their bread was
Stale and hard

A long time ago
In the days old
Before freedom came
The world was like
Day and night
It was separated into
Black and white

The whites were seated
In the front of the bus
The blacks were seated
In the back of the bus

This went on for a
Long time
A mighty long time
Until the morning came
When a “foot sire” weary
Woman of colour and courage
Standing alone, like a tree planted
By the water
She would not be moved

With dignity and a spirit of
Quite defiance
She held her ground and
Was put in jail
There she remained until
Friends came with her bail

At long last! At long last
Before another year had to pass
The buses began to roll
Joy filled their inner soul

Take me to that city
Way down in Alabama
Take me to that city
Where freedom abounds

I want to walk the
Streets of that city
Way down in Alabama
Where the wrath of the
People of colour unfurled

I want to ride through
That city
Way down in Alabama
Where the keepers of
Injustice, were
Trampled and turned
Around

I want to abide in
That city
Way down in Alabama
Where people of colour
Wrought a new day and
Drove Jim Crow away
For 365 days the buses
Did not roll
Their resolve was strong
They did not fold

They walked to and fro
From can’t to can’t
They carried a heavy load
From sunrise to moon-rise

The keepers of the city
Oh! What a shame and pit
Tried to run the boycott aground
Their necks became red
And their voices crackled

They walked
People of colour walked
Oh! How they walked
They walked on and on
Until walls of segregation
Came tumbling down

Top

The Power of the World in His Hands

He had the power of the world in             The people of colour
In his hands                                        Were in his control

He had the power of justice                     They read the Hold Book
At his command                                   And lost their soul

In the days when slavery                          They labored long and
Began                                                  Hard without pay

He had the power to bring                       They labored under the
Slavery to an end                                    Lash, night and day

In his hands, his powerful                        When slavery days were brought to an end
Hands                
                                                          The people of colour
He had the preachers                              Were betrayed again
And teachers
In his hands                                          They were driven from the
                                                           Land
He had the doctors and
Lawyers                                                He had the plantation
In his hands                                          Owners in his hands

He did no harm to the                            He had the leaders
People of his kind                                  Of the nation
                                                          At his command
He trampled upon the
Rights of human kind                             When slavery days were
                                                           Brought to an end
The preachers and teachers                 
Were lying upon the pulpit                       He did not punish those
Stand                                                  Who had sinned

The doctors and lawyers
Were lying on the witness
Stand

In his hands, his powerful
Hands

He had the power over all
People in his hands

The black and white,
The red and brown

He had the power of them all at his
Command
Top

The Forgotten Heroes

The Forgotten Heroes. It is not widely known that five
Gallant, brave and heroic Negroes warriors were members of
John Brown’s insurrection raid at Harper’s Ferry in 1859.

Four went with him to the gallows fighting for their freedom
and liberty. One Osborne Anderson escaped with his life and
went to fight in the Civil War.

The Forgotten
Often it has been said
That who have been under the lash
Are forever broken and afraid
And live timidly in fear of the ball and chain
Back in eighteen fifty nine
When old man John Brown was alive
Boldly he tried to run slavery into the ground
With him were five Negroes who had been in irons
Each shook off their fears on the way to higher grounds
They fought bravely braes, took aim and fired a round
Top

Dangerfield Newby

Father, husband and free man
Desperate to save his family from the auction block
Took up arms, fought and died like a man
As he lay in the street, they shot holes in his mutilated body
His nappy locks were shorn
After he succumbed, he was pelted with rocks
He fought to keep his family intact
To save them from the slave mart
He did not die in vain, as a matter of fact
He went to his grave with a letter of love
In his pocket, from his dearly beloved.
Top

Lewis Leary

Left behind a wife and baby child
Unbeknownst to them
He was eager to join the raid
To his death he went unafraid
Never had a chance to say goodbye
Too soon he had to close his eyes
These are the words he left behind
“I am ready to die”

John Copeland
Was a free man
He had no bond
Firm in his resolve
Willing to die for the noble cause
Went straight into the fray
Death was the price to pay
Top

Shields Green

He was called the Emperor
A man among men was he
When asked what was he to do
He said “I believe I do down wid the old man”
To the gallows he went
Unafraid and unbent
He went down “wid de ole man”
He went down standing like a man
Top

Osborne Anderson

The tireless warrior
The one who escaped into glory
He lived to tell the story
The living witness
To John Brown’s courageous foray
Into the battlements of slavery
Top

I Come From A Long Time Ago. The long history of the enslaved
Is traced as they were forbidden to practice their culture and taught to
The ways of their oppressor to become docile, pacific and church-
going.

I Come From A Long Time Ago
I come from a long time ago
Back when
Back yonder
Back then
Them was low down days
There were no libations to pour
No alter of prayer
No place to worship
No heavenly stairs
The gods of the sun
That we know so well
Never did come
To cast an evil spell
There was no reason to rejoice
To some it was
Singing
Shouting
Dancing
Prancing
Trying to get into heaven
To us it was
Moaning
Groaning
Shucking
Jiving
Trying to keep from crying
The Gods of the Sun
Were put asunder
Naked we stood
All we had
Was a voodoo bag
And conjure rag
With their demise
We were left with
A tireless will to survive
They made a God for us
In their own image
They had
The father
The son and
The holy ghost
On their side
The daily load
Was heavy to bear
Whipping
Flogging
Buying
Selling
Sowing
Hoeing
This I wouldn’t wish upon anyone
Not even the Lords of the land
With unfulfilled desire
Our passions were on fire
In numbers
There is strength
We multiplied
We became strong
Lo and behold
The doors of the church
Were flung open
To save our lowly souls
Top

IF and WHY raises the issue for contemplation of God(s)
Existence and IF he/she is Why were the oppressors allowed to
reign supreme.

IF And Why
If there is a pantheon of Gods
On high beyond the sun
If they have been on duty
Since the world begun
If there is an Alpha and Omega
A beginning and end
If there is an Almighty God
That seeth and knoweth all things
And answereth all prayers
If there is a supreme being
In possession of supernatural powers
Holding the worlds in the palm of his hand
If there is a Yawhew
Also known as Jehovah and Emmanuel
Gods of the chosen people of Israel
If there is an Allah (peace be upon him)
Who sent the prophet Mohhamed
On the Hegrira from Medina to Mecca
If there is Heavenly Father
Who sitteth high and looketh low
Who sent his Son to die for the sins of mankind
Why
Weren’t the angels of heaven unleashed
To forseize the wanton carnage and destruction
Against the downtrodden by the misbegotten
Under their earthly command
Why
Did not their minions reap the whirlwind
They have been honoured and acclaimed
They have never been buked and scorned
Never have they worn the ball and chain
Top

Before I live My Life As A Slave expresses the will of one
Who refuses to succumb to oppressive conditions, which
surrounds him.

Before I live My Life As A Slave
BEFORE
I live my life as a salve
Without a reason to be free
BEFORE
I go on acting as a knave
In pretense of not being a slave
I will fight or take flight at the risk of losing
My life
I will run run run away
To a safe harbor far far away
I may have to seek refuge in a cave
Defending myself with a stave
I may join up with the maroons
And be an outcast and vagabond
If all hope is lost, I will stand opposed
To subvert with all the power I possesseth
BEFORE
I let my children became enslaved
I will rise up and become brave
BEFORE
I pass on the foolish ways of a knave
I will go unwillingly to my grave

         In the Name of Chambega
        McKinley Jones

Top

In Deeds I Place My Trust presents the case for reason over
“Devine” “Intervention” and character over piety.

In Deeds I Place My Trust
Place your trust in the hands of reason
It shall prevail, in any and all seasons

It is unwise to place your trust in the
Hands of the divine
There is no reward for deeds of a selfish design
Always seek to be of good health
Be not deluded with the false images of wealth
Look thine enemies in the face
Do not engage in palfrey and theth

Let kindness and
humility be your
Embrace
Do not smite
Nor smote

Show goodness of character
Let your humanity become your secular writ
Be slow to ridicule and banter

In deeds I place my trust
To stand to reason I must

In the Name of Chambega
McKinley Jones
Top

Shame On You King James It is patently obvious from a
humanistic point of view why a king would go to great lengths
to design a “Bible” for those under his command, and how
fool hardy it is for the enslaved to blindly accept the religious
dogma of their oppressors.

Shame On You King James
If I were a king
Seated upon a majestic throne
If I were a blue blood named Jesus
With subjects under my command

If I were the ruler of a kingdom
Lord of the feudal manors
Where waters flow into the river of Thames
Where serfs are under the iron hand

If I were a monarch and noble man
On the Isle of England
With imperials designs to colonize nation states
I would decree the union of church and state

If I were an unrighteous despot
With a royal dispensation from my transgressions
I would commission the translation of the Holy Writ
To subjugate the multitudes with folly and wit

Shame King James
In the Name of Chambega
McKinley Jones
Top

What Good Is Heaven The enslaved were taught that “A
Heaven in the Sky” awaits them upon death if they were
faithful and obedient to their master. Support for these
misguided teachings can be traced to the King James Bible,
the book of indoctration.

From a humanistic perspective, with reliance on reason and
logic, there is no need to rely on these false teachings to
explain the existence of after-life.

What Good Is Heaven
The holy writ
Is said to be
The words of truth
For you and me

It defends inhumane bondage from
The cradle to the grave
It shows no mercy
For the enslaved
Much to my regret and rue
The holy writ does not ring true
Its words have not been misconstrued
It’s no respector of the ebony-hued

The righteous must be washed
Whiter than snow

They with their angelic hosts
Make up the unrighteous throng

The lonely low-life devil
Is black; the epitome of evil

He and his cohorts The doers of all wrong

Are all hell bound
Heaven will never be their home

What good is heaven
If it is the home of the unholy

Sitting upon their great white throne

If they reside in heaven
Take your holy writ
Throw it in the well

If they reside in heaven
Reserve me a place in hell
Top

O Death Where Art Thou addresses the inevitability of
Death which cannot be postponed by a “Higher Power” and
randomly occurs under myriad circumstances. Death comes to
greet all, the good, the bad, the rich, the poor, the young and
the old.

O Death Where Art Thou
O Death
Where art thou
Somewhere in a lonely grave
Or on some battlefields with the knaves
Lying in wait to take the unsuspecting to their grave
You have the power, though they be brave

O Death
Where art thou
Sitting high and looking low
On your throne in glory
In the celestial heavens
Where peace never ends

O Death
Where art thou

Asleep
Awake
At rest
At work

O Death
Where art thou

Lurking over the bed of some
Sleeping child
Rising from their slumber
Or couched in remission in the bosom
Of a righteous mother
Or lying in wait for some labouring father

O Death
Where art thou

Art thou merciful
Art thou benevolent
Art thou compassionate
Art thou fair and honest

These virtues I have not seen in thee
Is it because thou liveth in the great unknown

O Death
Thou whose presence is foreknown
But whose face is unseen
Thou whose works are seen
But still unknown

O Death
My heart is troubled
I’m burdened down
My family is sick
My friends are dying
The children are crying

O Death
Where art thou

On a mission of mercy
Knocking on the doors of innocent strangers
Travelling about
Dispensing injustice

O Death
Where art thou

Thou can’t be reached
By Phone
The cyber message sent to postpone your
Coming
Was returned stamped
Undeliverable

O Death
Where art thou

In search of evil doers
Looking for tyrants and
Sorcerers
Or taking the lives of
The poor
Or lying in wait for the
Unborn

O Death
Where art thou

Will thou come as a thief
In the night

Randomly you take the rich and the poor
At your own reasoning

O Death
Where art thou

Though I was taught to fear thee
I have grown to be unafraid
I was taught to pray
To keep you away
But you keep coming
Day by day

You have no power to control your hands
You act involuntary upon random command
Come To The River
The river runs deep
And is very wide
I want to cross over
At the ebb tide

Been in the low ground
Much too long
For nobody’s good
Where overseers and
Gospel spreaders
Hold good people down

Come to the river
No harm will betide thee
Come to the river
Renew your will
Come to the river
Restore your pride

The danger is not in the water
It walks uprights on dry land
Spirits don’t inflict pain
It’s the man with the whip in his hand
Come to the river
Before the break of day
Come to the river
The water will wash all scents away

Get off your knees
You have no reason to pray
This act of defiance
Will take your fears away
The paddyrollers are panting
The bloodhounds are braying
The time has come
To take flight and run away

There is a skift waiting
In the arbour of the bay
Be not afraid it is seaworthy
It will go all the way

Come to the river
The North Star in the sky
Come to the river
Keep low, its not very far

I want to cross over
To the other side
I want to live
Where peace and liberty abides
Top
Jesse Jesse Jesse Owens, once the fastest
man in the world
was also a unitarian

Jesse Jesse
Jesse Jesse
Jesse Owens
The fastest man in the world
The beautiful black pearl

Jesse Jesse
Jesse Owens
The humanist man
The unitarian man
In nineteen hundred and
Thirty six
His name went
Into the record books
He went across the sea
To deustch land

His victory made the fuhreh
Frown
He won the race and was
Given the crown
Top

Terror Without Reparations sets forth the proposition that
the enslaved were placed in chains and terrorized for
centuries at the ands of oppressors who refused to
recognize that compensation is in order.

Terror Without Reparations
One, two, three four
Centuries ago
On that far away
Ancient shore
The abduction of free-born
People began
It was a reign of terror
Without an end
The trail of tribulation bleed
Human blood
Across the vast ocean
The bones of
Those tossed overboard
Were scattered
On its floor

From Africa they came
The Original Mainland
Where ebony hued kings
And queens reigned
Upon despotic thrones
With subjects at their command
Conspiring with the
Maurading body snatchers
Armed with rum, whip,
Gun, and chicanery
They de-tribilized the land

The soul destroyers
Were unleashed to wreak
Havoc and mistrust
With bible, cross, and sword
They came forth
Uttering biblical gibberish
In the name of their
Blue-eyed lord
Trampling upon ancient mores
Laying bare frailties
Of antiquated lore
Making mockery of endowed
Features, of nature spewing hatred,
And venomous lies of deceit
The coffle line began
Chained together, one to another
Forced marched day and night
To the water
Where tall ships were waiting
The cargo of human matter
Stacked as cords of wood
In their stench they lay
Bound hand and foot
Night and day

Unprotected by the Sun Gods
From high above
The desolate filled with
Sorrow and grief
Jumped overboard
The survivors arrived
In a strange land
They had no God
At their command
They evolved anew
Holding on
To their conjuration hand

Then the day came
When the tall ships dropped anchor
In the land of the free
Upon the red soiled shore
The cargo of human matter
Was declared unfree
There they were
Enslaved and oppressed
Forbidden to sing and dance
Exploited and degraded
Forbidden to worship in trance
They became docile and weak
Unable to withstand
They came to believe in the Son of God
Alone without succour, distraught and
Abandoned
The ancestors were called upon they
Had no power at their command

Filled with despair and anguish
Pouring libations upon the earth
Praying in earnest
Looking for a sign from above, their
Fate remained unchanged
Everywhere trouble abandoned
Enslaved they were to remain
In pursuit of a refuge the stout of heart
Took flight
Through swamp and forest in the
Darkness of midnight
Their quest for freedom would never be
Constrained
Their thirst for liberty could never be satisfied

Each escape and tale of glory
Fortified their courage and fear
Each battle and victorious story
Made the heavy load easier to bear

The legacy of their enduring is lasting
And true
Terror is never sublime or divine
Rely only on reason and logic
Do not rue
Your ancestral reparations are due
Top

Go Down in Slavery Land
Many Negroes went down to the
“Deep South”, the land which has historically been referred
to as Egypt land, where Pharaoh ruled supreme, to implore
the overseers and oppressors to set the Negroes free. Once
it is realized that the enslaved and their struggle were
“writing history”, we discarded the hidden messages within
the lyric of the song “Go Down Moses” and not take too
literally the biblical overtones.

Go Down in Slavery Land
When Negroes were in slavery land
Let me people go
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
They had no Lord, but the Elders sung
Let my people go

If not, we will strike a blow
Let my people go

Go down and take a stand
Way down in slavery land
Tell ole Jim Crow
Let my people go
No more shall they in bondage toil
Let them come out with slavery’s spoil
When Negroes out of slavery came
And left the oppressive Southern Land

Twas good men and women too
Twas they, that fought the good fight

The elders told the young what to do
Stay together and come on through

O come along, you’ll not get lost
Stretch out your arms and come across
As the night riders chases them to the waterside They stood and would not divide

When they reached the other shore
They sang we shall be free

The patrollers led the chase abroad
But they and their henchmen got lost
O’ the cloud shall clear the way
A fire by night and shade by day
You’ll not get lost in the wilderness
With a lighted torch upon your breast

The Ohio River shall be the dividing wall
And the walls of slavery shall fall

Your foes shall not before you stand
And you heirs will possess their own land

Twas just about harvest time
When they gathered fruit from the vine

O let us all be bondage free
And in the name of the Elders
Let us be free

We need not always weep and moan
And were these slavery chains for lorn
Top

I’m Gonna Move On Up A Little Higher speaks to the
longing of the enslaved to “take flight” and take matters in
their own hands. They went in search of freedom for
themselves and their kin, contrary to the notion they were
seeking a Heavenly Home.

I’m Gonna Move On Up A Little Higher
I’m gonna move on up a little higher
I’m gonna move from the Deep, Deep, South
I’m gonna move from Georgia and Alabama
I’m gonna move through the sweltering Carolinas
I’m gonna cross the turbulent river Ohio
There, I will meet a friend to give me rest and comfort

On the banks of the river, I will wait
They will lead me, they will guide me
To a land of refuge
Beyond the reach of those who pretend to be without sin

When I get on the other side
And see the Queen’s band
And walk around Canada’s land
I will send for my dear old mother
I will try to find my long, lost father
I will be searching for brothers and sisters
And those who have come before me
Top

I Took A Mind To Be Free The desire to be free burned
intensely in the minds of many of the enslaved, who took it
upon themselves to strike a blow for freedom without
waiting for “Divine Intervention.”

They were courageous and went forth against great odds to
rescue their kin folks and friends from the dungeons of
slavery.
I Took A Mind To Be Free
I took a mind
To be free
I was tired of dem folks
Putting their hands on me

I had my children
With crying eyes
They were looking and
Watching me

Life ain’t worth living
If they are sold away from me

I took my rod
Staff and gun

I went to the Deep South
Where evil deeds begin
Something came into my mind
It was a human emotion

Something came into my mind
It was not of the devine

I went down
I went down
To the lowland
To the lowland

To the man-stealing
To the slave catching

To the back-breaking
To the evil-making
Low land of hate
Low land of spite

I came like a thief
In the night

Looking around to my
Left and right

At the first sight of a
Bondsman
In the name of freedom
I commandeth
That he put his fears aside

Mount his courage, and get astride
It is time to go
Make haste
It is time to go
Don’t wait

This may be
The last time
That I come for you
It may be the last time
I don’t know
Top

In The Great Deep. Despite the desire of most people that
a “Heaven” awaits all who live a good life, and ascribe to the tenets of their religious dogma, there is no evidence of
an after life, and that death is final.

In The Great Deep
Do you wonder
Where you will be
When that great trumpet sounds

Do you wonder
Where you will be
When Gabriel blows his horn

Do you wonder
If you will be
Able to hear the chorus

When this life is over
And trouble is no more
Will you cross over

In your minds eye
Do you foresee
The coming of a judgment day

When you get to the other side
Will you be able to confide
That death washed your sins away

It is reasonable to assume
All men and women
That are much the same

It is human that we choose to disagree
On matters within our purview

It is fool hardy that we choose not to agree
On matters proven by free inquiry

Those that we wisely love
Those that we foolishly despise
Will cease to be among the living

The record of their demise will remain
Their life’s song may be a sweet refrain
For those living on an earthly plane

When this life is over
We will rest forever
In the great deep
There we will be a fast asleep

The dead shall never return
Their faces we shall never see
This is no longer a mystery
Death is our eternity

While the blood runs red in our veins
We all are human and the same
We should hold fast to our dreams
Only on earth can we make a change

When we have breathed our dying breath
Life is over…the dead is at rest
When we take the last slumber
We will wake no more! No more!

It is fool hardy not to agree
On matters proven by free iniquity
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By These Hands. An unvarnished humanistic view of the
struggle of the enslaved, without assuming the presence of a
“Higher Power”. In their lives, reveals the myriad
obstacles, changes and stumbling blocks, which were strewn
in their path. They found the resolve and “Human Power”
to change their oppressive situation.

By These Hands
B these hands
Calloused and bruised
By these hands
Scarred and blackened

By these hands
Look at them
By these hands
Hold them

They cleared the swamp land
Tilled the soil
Made the cotton grow tall
Look at them
They built rail lines
And the cross ties and
Drove the steel
Hold them

By these hands
Of flesh and blood
By these hands
Pained by splintering wood

By these hands
Of unsung men and women
By these hands
Stained by unpaid work

They nursed the children
Of a lesser colour
That were not their brother
Look at them

They took in the motherless children
Without a home to call their own
Hold them

By these hands
The seeds were sown
The rows were hoed
The harvest was reaped

By these hands
The food was gathered
The water was drawn
The wood was cut

By these hands
The fire was stoked
The food was cooked
The meals were served

By these hands
The work was done
By these hands
Early in the morning
By these hands
Long after the setting sun
By these hands
That never knew fun
By these hands
The west was won

By these hands
Many battles were waged
By these hands
Democracy was saved
By these hands
The wars of the world were won

By these hands
Bloodied
Tired
Sweating
Hurting

By these hands
Painful
Swelling
Tortured
Angry

By these hands
A dream was awrought
By these hands
A vision was fashioned

By these hands
Mule driving
Fence laying
Land clearing
Water toting

By these hands
Steel-driving
Bayonet toting
Guitar strumming
Fun-making

By these hands
These hands of human kind
By these hands
Black like mine
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The Lords Of Their Life. The enslaved, after a tumultuous
journey upon the high sea, much to their despair, once again
their feet touched the ground, only to meet their oppressors
who became the lords of their life, not in heaven, but on
earth.

The Lords Of Their Life
When their feet touched the red soil
Of Virginia
They were relieved that they had reached
Dry land

For countless days and nights
They were tossed and turned
As the tall ship came though the storm
With all of its strength and might

The sea waters
Were churning about
The angry storm
Was raging

The storm had no friends
Nor did it have any foe
It had no master
It was nobody’s slave

The storm raged
For a long time
The storm raged and raged
A might long time

Suddenly without warning
There was a calm upon the ocean waters
The storm subsided
The waves were at rest

The storm went behind the clouds
The sun from above broke through

When the storm was ended
The ship dropped anchor
On a lonely and desolate shore

It was there the enslavement began
They were all free born
None were born with a bond
Each had a given name

They all knew of the Gods of the Sun
From the land they came from
Some know of Allah
A few knew of Jesus the Christ
Soon they would meet the Lords of their life
Who taught them a foreign tongue
Made them kneel down
And worship all men who were white
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The First to Defy tells the story of the Negro, who struck
the first blow for liberty and lost his life.
The First to Defy
Crispus Attucks
The first to defy
The first to die

Crispus Attucks
Unafraid to take a stand
Unafraid to raise a hand

Crispus Attucks
A man of his times
A man among men

He did not run
He did not cower

He was in the forefront
He was the tower of power

He was rough
He was ready

He was tough
He was steady

They tried to ignore
That he was the first to defy

They tried to deny
That he was the first to die

They tried to whitewash
The pages of history

They said he was a ruffian
That he was not a patriot

Some are born to write
Some are born to fight

He was quick to take action
Ready made to lead the charge

In the past it was said
He was a rebel without a cause

In truth it is now known
He was a rebel who did not pause

He may have been
A bragging hooligan

It took a man such as he
Who was opposed to slavery
It took a man such as he
To strike the fist blow for liberty

He was a free person of colour
A mixed blood Mulatoo
He was a fearless agitator
A straight forward warrior

In an instant he became
The first to defy

In an instant he became
The first to die
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