Juneteenth by Alma Day
Who in the heck ever heard of Juneteenth?
It must be a made-up celebration
See June is a month, and Teen is a stage,
Seems like somebody got the wrong information.
And how come everything about Blacks is always hooked up with Slavery?
Like we da “original gangster” of Zeros
It’s an awful feeling, like looking in a mirror with no reflection, looking for a future with no past
Cause Zeros don’t produce Heroes / Sheroes
How come nobody talked about Juneteenth at the dinner table, over at Granma ‘s Sunday dinner, birthday parties and holiday events?
How come it wasn’t in the school books, weekly reader or current events? In the newspaper or in da Bible contents?
How come it wasn’t woven into our double dutch jump rope chants, the “yo mama” jokes, our praise to Jehovah Jireh?
How come somebody kept it secret two and a half plus years without it going generic viral?
Man it must have been heavy for them
To go to the trouble to fool folks like me
Betcha they was shocked when the news arrived and folks start chanting “We free”
Walking away from Hell on earth celebrating the day of Jubilee
Though laws set the enslaved free
Invisible chains held them taut
As Jim Crow raised its head and harden evil men heart
But folks prayed, drawing on the strength of ancestors from way back
and the souls of Mali warriors took residence in us and the drums of our glory that’s always been in us.
The young dance and sing songs of Juba
The elders clap and shout Hallelujah
One day the books in every town, city, hamlet and state will tell our true story
Of colored troops and soldiers of Timbuctoo marching to Zion in glory
Elders, orators, griots, Jali and kings
Together will lift up every voice and sing
…and another piece will be added to my broken past
As Juneteenth victories bridge the gap, free at last, free at last
Thank God Almighty, We free at last.
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