Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Praise Poem for Lilly

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Praise Poem for Lilly

Article excerpt

You are dazzling

and bedazzling.

You astonish

as the churches of Lalibela carved from bedrock astonish,

inspire as triumph at Adowa inspires.

You are precious as the obelisks of Aksum, liberated from exile,

voluptuous as the Blue Nile bending from Lake Tana,

falling,

falling toward the White Nile's waiting arms.

The Maroon is Dead! Long Live the Maroon!

On the night Malcolm died, tough men, hewn from

Louisiana's woodlands and paper mills, and from

the battlefields of Europe and Korea gathered in their

town of Bogalusa. Our Maroon King, our Zumbi, lay cut down

in Harlem as these Maroons of the Sword, these Deacons for Defense,

accepted the quest to slay the Klu Klux dragon.

Weeks later, Maroons of the Pen, ascended

to Harlem, the crown city of Afro-modernity, to feed Africans

words of resistance and self-knowledge, to feed Africans

the manna of their own greatness, reconnect the African body

to the African mind and the African soul, quilt together what was

ripped apart in coffles, and in pest houses off Charelston, and in the barracoons

of Savannah. …

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