black history IS ©Dawn Minott |a sestet for Black History Month, with audio

black history IS, too bold to be contained in one month

Far less one with just 28 days

It’s lived out loud every day in every month of every year

As bold as January 1st and December 31st colliding

It’s like fireworks exploding

Making its presence known

black history IS, birthed from the continent which cradled life

Civilization’s place of first beginning

As mystically dark as before God spoke the universe into form and all that was needed came from its void

Before slavery and colonial conquest, we were …

From the Nile to the Volta River valleys, from the Pyramids to Griottes/Griots’ courts

Keepers of our epic prayers and stories, told and retold

black history IS, too multi-colored to be just one-and-only

It’s not just black, it’s beautifully diverse

Birthing a people of magnificent kaleidoscopic shades of color

From chocolate-dark as starless nights

To in-between hues of caramel-brown

Glowing fluorescence of colors as sun’s light

black history IS, a chest of talented treasures

Too creatively inventive to be hidden

Trailblazers are we—breaking ground in mathematical numbering, web-animating, traffic directing, science and technology engineering

Making the folding chair portable so we take our seat for inclusion at any table

From inventing the sanitary belt for women—liberating to the steel pan for musicians—playing to peanut as smooth as butter—spreading

Yeah … black history’s way too creatively expansive for this poem’s attempt to contain it or even fully convey it

black history IS, bombastic—it vaults the Biles o’er racist typologies

It runs Bolt-fast, dismantling discrimination o’er tracks and in fields …

Whether cotton or tobacco … whether on sidewalks, in cars or in beds …

Whether with the noose or whatever weapons they choose

Black lives being snuffed out, we shout…with the intellectual prowess of Timbuktu’s Bamba to the oratory genius of King-Marley-Gorman

We challenge isms and schisms to achieve justice, to experience one-love, to find light in the never-ending shade

black history IS, me—I am my history interdependently connected

It’s too beautiful for me not to value my worth—regardless of what others think or how they feel about me—my history says: I matter!

It’s too deeply misunderstood not to be activist

It’s too compassionate not to be treated with care, to be protected, to be loved unequivocally, no questioning

It’s too artistic in rhythm, in harmony, in melody to not sing it or dance it, orate it or play it—in all ways, though, to honor it

It’s too matriarchal not to tell her-story—from Mama Africa to children of the diaspora—separate, yet together, equal

black history IS, all-encompassing, intersectional

It’s been hurt enough to empathize with other’s stories

It’s too linked to be conceived as separate or sovereign

It’s too panoptic to not be a shared humanity

It’s a collective human story

black history IS, because we are

All Rights Reserved 
(1st published 2022, edited 2023)

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In creative solidarity, Dee

45 thoughts on “black history IS ©Dawn Minott |a sestet for Black History Month, with audio

  1. Anonymous

    ‘My history is too bold to be contained in one month…….’. Thank you for voicing this for all of us. So beautifully read. It deserves a live reading. Perhaps when Calabash starts staging again!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dee, fantastic. So deep and so beautiful. ‘My history is too bold to be contained in one month….’ . Thank you for saying it for us. It deserve a live reading. Perhaps when Calabash begin staging again!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sadje. Yes I wanted to emphasize that we are all connected, a shared humanity, while honoring and celebrating my heritage and history. Glad to know you got it!!! Thanks for your constant engagement. Really appreciate it!!! Cheers, Dee

      Liked by 1 person

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