Gwendolyn Brooks

(7 June 1917 – 3 December 2000 / Topeka, Kansas)

to the Diaspora


you did not know you were Afrika

When you set out for Afrika
you did not know you were going.
Because
you did not know you were Afrika.
You did not know the Black continent
that had to be reached
was you.

I could not have told you then that some sun
would come,
somewhere over the road,
would come evoking the diamonds
of you, the Black continent--
somewhere over the road.
You would not have believed my mouth.

When I told you, meeting you somewhere close
to the heat and youth of the road,
liking my loyalty, liking belief,
you smiled and you thanked me but very little believed me.

Here is some sun. Some.
Now off into the places rough to reach.
Though dry, though drowsy, all unwillingly a-wobble,
into the dissonant and dangerous crescendo.
Your work, that was done, to be done to be done to be done.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie Kennedy Sagwa (2/6/2007 8:41:00 AM)

    It's impressive that you used the Swahili name of Africa - Afrika! It sounded very African and did a lot of good to emphasise on the Black continent, there was no mistaking it for anything else.

    Thanks,
    Ken Sagwa (Report) Reply

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