Treasure Island

James B. Earley

(5 April 1934 / Mounds, Il)

African Brother

Who was the villain
When it all began
Some fair-haired stranger
From a faraway land

Or the African brother
Selling his neighbor away
In exchange of whatever
The fair-haired stranger would pay

For the brutal betrayal
Of his own damned kin
Has anything changed
Since the original sin

Who was the villain
........When it all...began

Submitted: Saturday, February 09, 2008
Edited: Monday, June 03, 2013

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  • Cindy Kreiner Sera (3/30/2009 2:22:00 AM)

    After reading, one can only come to the conclusion that nothing has changed. Man is a 'sale' waiting to happen, easily swayed, at whatever price, no end in sight... We sell ourslves into the bargain. Good write....Cindy (Report) Reply

  • Bernard Ceasar (9/17/2008 11:30:00 AM)

    Thanks for the comment on my poem-I really like this piece-African Brother-it reminds me of a poem that I wrote called Have We Overcome-it talks about how we african-americans place blame on others when really we are our own/biggest enemy(ies) . (Report) Reply

  • Michael Shepherd (8/30/2008 2:25:00 PM)

    It's a small spiritual consolation - but - anyone who sells his brother or sister into slavery has already sold his own soul into slavery - and worse than slavery, shame and degradation... (Report) Reply

  • Asia Joseph (8/19/2008 9:37:00 AM)

    also goong back to what dude said, yes it is present in the bible and what color do think joseph and his brother were? i wish this site had a discussion board (Report) Reply

  • Tess Rockenstire (8/16/2008 8:50:00 AM)

    Slavery began even before christ. Read the biblical history...even the Iraelites were enslaves by the babylonians and etc. It's poignant to say that there's truth to being sold by your own brothers. Again history has it...Joseph was sold by his own brothers the son of Jacob in the biblical time...there's betrayal in every man even his own flesh. No matter what your color is.

    Well done James......Tess (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Rodgers (8/3/2008 2:42:00 AM)

    you really touched the heart of the matter and spoke the truth. I love this poem even though it is very sad. (Report) Reply

  • Lance Taylor (7/31/2008 3:52:00 PM)

    This poem should make us All think.
    It is human nature to be villainous but until one knows this is when we can light up the darkness. (Report) Reply

  • Dorothy- A. Holmes (7/7/2008 12:44:00 PM)

    Mr. Earley,

    Great eye opener for some, a reality for others, enslaved by poverty, fear, drugs, illiteracy, etc.10 from me.

    Dorothy (Report) Reply

  • Dorothy- A. Holmes (7/7/2008 12:43:00 PM)

    Mr. Earley,

    Great eye opener for some, a reality for others, enslaved by poverty, fear, drugs, illiteracy, etc.10 from me.

    Dorothy (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Slanker (7/6/2008 1:17:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem...very provocative and emotional. Who was the villain? All parties involved were the villains. This touched my soul. (Report) Reply

  • Celise Mclean (7/3/2008 3:45:00 AM)

    Deep Deep! your going back into history and almost demanding answers, i like this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rani Turton (6/20/2008 6:31:00 PM)

    History is rarely objective unfortunately. What is truly sad in the history of slavery I think is that the best, strongest, best nourished and often the heads or the sons of heads of tribes were taken...this 'decapitating' the tribes and villages. But thanks for bringing up this theme. (Report) Reply

  • Melvina Germain (4/26/2008 2:27:00 AM)

    Hmmm, did our african brothers really sell their own people, who wrote the book on that anyway, I doubt it was written by black brothers. Excellent poem of course as it would be written by you James. I'll have to ponder on this one awhile and do more research. I have a difficult time believing that african leaders would want to sell their own people to fair haired men but of course it would certainly make fair haired men feel better to think so. Ah I've said enough.
    Melvina (Report) Reply

  • Sylvi Sylva (4/15/2008 3:19:00 PM)

    Wonderful read...and one that stirs emotions, well done, I have one in a similar vein 'Beasts of Glory'.
    Keep it up - and gets my vote. (Report) Reply

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