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Cynth'ya Lewis

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generational sins of a common whyteness
by Cynth'ya Lewis

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Cynth'ya Lewis
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           >> View all 570

Racism be damned; Cotton be praised.

it is my privilege to know
that my great grandmother was
raped by a white bigot who passed
his green eyes down to his unknown son—

(my great uncle Ted)

--that erased the overdue credit
on her overpriced provisions
but could not erase the indelible scars
in her peace-keeping spirit--

it is my privilege to recall
that my grandmother was
tormented with nicknames of
“niggah gal” not to mention
the confederate creed that tagged
her and those like her as
force-2-be- unacknowledged
head rag-wearin’ mammies;

it is my privilege to imagine
that my own mother holds
the secrets of childhood so despicable
that ancestral pains of Lelahatchee and
Crenshaw Counties are now entombed
behind psychological walls of defense--

it is peccadillo to think not
that mammon’s greed
has disabled this nation’s most
productive people to a place
eternal restlessness, rebuffing

the facts that the blood within me
will never outgrow or numb-out
the hurts with cries of “why?”
I pride myself in my legacy
for it is experiences such as these
endured in the breastplate
of the righteous people

they taught me
how to survive without killing,

how to cope without losing my mind,

and how to reconstruct the past
40 years of each year of my awareness,
taking 11 extra months to seek accuracy
on my own even when FOX, CNN, MSNBC,
and the History channel have better things to do
than note the aching remnants of this narrative.

© 2004 by cynth'ya lewis reed

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Reviewed by Eddie Thompson 2/19/2004
Bam!!!...another shot heard around authorsden...powerful, energetic write, my friend.
Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 2/19/2004
An excellent write. Very powerful and filled with emotion.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/18/2004

poignant, painful write--i'm sorry for what my white ancestors did to yours. i hate prejudice in all its forms. forgive me?

this really moved me to tears--thank you for your courage in posting this stark, raw piece, with all of its emotion

((((HUGS)))) and love, karla. :(
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