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Poetry: The Last Day the Black Man is Oppressed by Ronald J. Daniels

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Published: 1st of August, 2023

Last updated: August 1, 2023 at 23:29 pm

Mr. Ronald J. Daniels is a Guyanese born Attorney of Law and poet, among other things. He is generally very vocal on the historical oppression of the African race. European slavery of Africans in Guyana ended in 1838. On the 1st of August each year, the abolition of slavery, a national holiday, is celebrated in the form of Emancipation Day. In this poem, Mr. Daniels expresses his sentiments on slavery and subsequent emancipation.

The Last Day the Black Man is Oppressed

by Ronald J. Daniels

This may properly be called an international address
Today marks the end of the Black Man being suppressed
To our oppressors from the East to the West
This is the last day we will be oppressed

A multitude of similar sentiments has been expressed
But these right here prevail upon the rest
To you the Black Men are pawns in a game of chess
Mere commodities which fill your treasure chest

You kidnapped us from lands in which we were kings and empress
Dragged us across the oceans leaving us dispossessed
Branded us as savages and mindless at best
Called yourselves our saviors and passports to progress

Your progress is one we could have only accessed
In the bowels of ships being compressed
Transported as cargo packed in excess
Taken across the middle and other passages to where you commenced your quest

Paraded us naked for the bidding contest
Heckled at our manhood; regarded our women with jest
Took us home as machines or your house pets
Used us as objects to satisfy your cravings for sex

Those who dared to be humans dared to be threats
Our backs wore your whips and your ropes hugged our necks
You shackled our souls and murdered our zest
And this is the progress of which you profess

You killed our Gods and laid them to rest
Took our languages and claimed your God is the best
Even though we were cargo you gave us sins to confess
And to a God which sanctioned your barbaric excess

To your system of learning you restricted access
A cargo with a brain was bound to transgress
Even our names from us you wrest
'This is my Nigger' is how you introduced us to your guests

Civilization was the cradle in which the Black Man built his nests
Even your civilisation was built by a pool of Black sweats
Even your kids suckled on Black breasts
Ironic that your kids were raised by your pets

Whenever you fight it's always for progress
Whenever we fight it's civil unrest
We dare to be humans, often by peaceful protests
Those who stand you cut down with slugs in their chests

History paints you as majestic and blessed
The pages of your history leave your ego caressed
The Black Man sits in your history's recess
Given the same respect science accords the pests

You kill our heroes but reward your vets
Give us a few tokens and bid us forget
It boggles me how in this world you expect
Us to let our ancestors die vain-ful deaths

Today I take a moment to talk to my own
You measure your progress by tablets and smart phones
Credit ratings and the size of your loans
Your fine amenities in your metropolitan homes

Get your fancy education and move out of the zone
Quick to forget the circumstances in which you've grown
The oppressor gives you tokens for sins he wishes to atone
And you see it as achievement you got alone

To fight for your dignity you're quick to postpone
A brother who dares to stand up you're quick to bemoan
You respect your oppressors but your brother gets your harsh tone
For à few dollars your brother's brain would be blown

Ask you about the West and your brilliance is shown
But you're ignorant of Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone
You sit at the table lunching on the bone
Most grateful and excited for the few scraps you are thrown

You have built civilizations in Egypt and Rome
You are a poor harvest of the seeds your ancestors have sown
You are kings and queens; you have held thrones
Sad to say you're not even acting like clones

I urge you from this day stand on your own
Leave behind that passive attitude to which you are prone
You are not in this world to be fleeting like colognes
Every race of human beings climbed out of your skin tone
Ronald J. Daniels

Editor’s Note: The views and sentiments expressed in this poem are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views and sentiments of the Guyana, South America Publication.

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