Kamille Kamala Writes A Poem About The Black River

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One African male barefoot sunk down into the Virginian sand
With his shackled hands he stepped out of the ship
Called the White Lion, followed by those of his kind
And as their skin glistened in the Land of Liberty sun
The crowns of their heads looked like black cotton spun
While their eyes saw peculiar wonder at this new land
These 20 Negroid souls were the source of a young river
A very new river, their life force opens up to, the Black River
This Black river leaping with life, dread, uncertainty, and stark reality
That their ride was not for leisure, no pleasure involved
But they were the background for the slavery scene
And this was done back in late august of 1619
The bed of this river was deep and full of black misery
But, there was promise in the babbling brooks of uprisings
One, led by a slave named Jemmy in 1739 who executed
White owners and placed their heads on the front steps of stores
Until he was caught, captured, and killed
It was Nat Turner who was bursting with prophetic dreams
He rallied the rebels to set the demise in place for sixty whites
But in the end, he was hanged as his body rocked and spins
And a purse was made of his dissident skin
Ms. Tubman drove the train across over the river’s roughest surges
To safety’s abode, they called her feat the Underground Railroad
Although slowly, freedom finally embarked at the mountain’s crest
Shining the sovereignty light down on their upon their Negro faces
The Emancipation Proclamation made the declaration that,
“All persons held as slaves….are, and henceforward shall be free”
These were the words written by Lincoln in 1863
This Black River was robust and strong finding ways to flow
Flourish and farrow by giving birth to little streams
Black streams, black baby streams
And this was the secret in spite of various plans
To damn it up, despite all attempts to dry it up
Many years, many miles, many waves and many trials
Of this Black River that kept fluid and unbroken
Until out of one of those streams arose a sleek black panther
Who sprung out of the river and landed powerfully on all fours
He sought to end oppression of his people
He fought for equality in education and civil rights
He brought the revolutionary war cry
He thought he could end police brutality and criminality
But it was cointelpro that infiltrated this black man’s organization
Ceasing all efforts to build a nation within a nation
Although not in order of appearance
I must talk about two channels that were narrow and deep
They were opposites, but also a confluence
Two people who were life’s finest students
But one was educated in the Harlem streets
And the other in a quality American university
They both mark a place where two waterways joined
I am talking the Niger Martin and Nile Malcolm
While the Niger sought to end all atrocities peacefully
The Nile thought it was best to be a fearless militant eagerly
Uneasily, they both left this world too soon and too violently
Speedily, this river streams across spans of times
And times of times
Then, it gracefully keeps a current that builds a people strong
It allows the people to sing civil rights songs
It gives them the strength to fight back Jim Crow wrongs
And take it when they lost Black Wall Street
Keep fighting, keep fighting, and keep fighting
Until ghetto journalist in timberlands and jeans
Walked out of the city projects
With poetic rhymes and sick beats
Teaching the world that black men are king
When no matter what they tried,
While this Black River is still running and moving
Fluently streaming right up to the White House
Dropping slave ancestor’s brood
And they aren’t staying in the guest house
No, this is the blood that built it
And this blood is now part of the continental quilt
Make room for that black face on the wall of all 43 other presidents
Make room for the gown that the first lady wore at the dance in the museums
So that we can keep this river turning
Keep it growing and flowing
This Black River
This Black River
This Black River!
Got many more miles
To go