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    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.  

    44 Axis360 black1Download ebooks and audios from Axis 360, available free from the Willingboro Public Library through the New Jersey State Library and the CARES Act. 

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