Recreating History (version 2) by Stephen A. Dantes


I know exactly what I will say to my son
when he asks me about freedom
Well, that is if I had one,
when I can find a woman who loves me enough
to carry me, one

I’d say; Son, “Freedom is not the right to do what you wish,
It is the opportunity to do what you want.”
And if stares at me with eyes expectant as if
to will me to explain what I meant by those words
knowing that slavery has been abolished years now


I’d sit him down and take his hand and say;
I stand tall on a mountain and I see
brothers and sisters rise and fall indiscriminately
For slavery days have come, gone, and past
Yet the enslaved mentality is here to last

I hear clamouring for an identity
whilst self has become a societal entity
I see a fight for liberty and prosperity
at the cost of integrity, morality and individuality

I see that eyes are colour-blind to the blindness of the rest
I see you, and I see me
just recreating history


From Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” piece
to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
I too have dreams which
like them, will not live to see it
And as it stands
the situation is still shit

From Willie Ricks’ “Black Power”
to Stephen Biko’s “Black is Beautiful”
I too assert two-word dissertations in times of affliction
in the name of Emancipation as I remember the Mother Nation

But brothers
Which one of you
execute the intention?


From Rodney King’s relentless beating
to Rosa Parks hesitant sitting,
I see Brigands, Freedom Fighters,

But yet;
From Yasus Afari’s “Wind, Rush, Banana Boat”
to Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”,
I see mental incarceration, addiction,
and system prostitution of the same ones fighting for liberation

When, when, when, when?
When will I be free?
When will you be free?
What do we fight for?
When will freedom come?


George Jackson, Leonard Deadwyler,
Nelson Mandela, Mutabaruka
When will freedom come?
What the fuck is emancipation?

Submerged in inverse racism
perpetuating fascism,
what is emancipation if we,
you, me, us, then,
mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters,

homeboys sitting in State Pen’s like follower,
parents who can’t find parents for their daughters,
baptising our brothers as niggas on blocks pulling triggers and gang signs
like inhaling rap rhymes from a bong,
calling our mothers and daughters that bitch with a thong;


As the mind keeps spinning
so does death from the tongue.
Then slavery becomes something universal with a plan
to keep us enslaved as minds age with our young,

and as I retrace my roots
back to an island in the sun;
St. Lucia, Helen of the West Indies,
I stand on this hill and I breathe
then ask myself,

I take in those things I’ve seen
then I slap myself.
My dreams for you to dream son
was hacked by self-
destructive means in palms of coloured skin –
A colour given by coloured skins to colour means –
Son, freedom does not live here,
It used to!

What is Emancipation
if we are still suffering from mental incarceration?

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