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11.07.2009 Feature Article

The Obama Serenades VII

The Obama Serenades VII
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Associated “Insults”

“While Michelle Obama's great-great grandfather was a slave in South Carolina, his African origins are not known.” – Associated Press, 7/11/09

An insult to injury,
an injury to insult;
rubbing salt and pepper
into my running soul's sore…

the say
wherever the sons
and daughters and
nephews and nieces
and fathers and
mothers and uncles
and aunties gather
to share
and exult
in God's name,
to gratefully
appreciate their fortunes
and even misfortunes,
the Devil as
sure as Hell
is smack-dab
in the midst…

and so the Devil
went to Ghana
with Barack and
Michelle attempting
to derail or
dumb down
this glorious
homecoming
of Africa's first
American son…

the Devil,
he went to Ghana
seeking to rain
on the harmlessly
healing parade
of kinsfolk and
in-laws;
luckily,
the Devil
did not
succeed in
dumbing down
their joy…

the Devil
who had woefully
underestimated
the stern stuff
of which
we are made,
he went to Ghana
to dumb down
our joy
and returned with
third-degree
burns…

we saw it coming
all right,
yet
we were not fazed,
having weathered
detraction and
distraction and
destruction and
sidelining and
side-stepping and
boot-crunching
in the Harlems
and Sowetos
of our forced exiles
and outright
deportations
and enslavement
in these United States
of cattle-rustlers
and robber-barons,
hunched on the gray
margins between
history and
oblivion;
still,
we are not
the least bit
fazed…

having been
shackled and
huddled
in the squalid
hold of
“The Jesus,”
we are now
also callously
being told
the raw and
cold memories
of our agonies
were mere
daydreams of
toddlers and
drunks,
after all…

still,
we are not
the least bit
fazed:
four centuries
of ineffable
indignities
cannot be cancelled
by the halting
smudge
of cynical
scribes…

Blackman
marooned among
the hopeless ranks
of a Carolina
chain-gang,
rise up,
arise
with the righteous
indignation
that only
a hurricane
could match,
Blackman
hung up
a tree to
die and rot
like strange fruits
on a Georgian
oak,
tell me,
if you are
no prime fruit
of old Africa's
loins,
what are you?

A white
shooting-star
dropped out of
America's
pale-blue skies
and then
instantly
quenched
and seen
no more?

Three centuries
of murderous rape
cannot be blotted
with the stroke
of a pen;
luckily,
Caliban
has out-mastered
the master
at his own
tongue;
luckily,
Caliban
is truth-tinker
to such crock
of slag…

7/11/09

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2009

The author has 5327 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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