African-American Indian

By Shazzar Kallie

My past was molded by my ancestors,
stolen from their mother land of Africa.
Chained and shackled in the belly of a ship as they crossed
the Atlantic, they were sold to the highest bidder upon arrival
in my native ancestors' land America.

My native ancestors were the first Americans.
Beads and blankets were the price if taking their lives
did not seem to be a better bargain for their land.
How could a man steal another man from his mother land,
and still take native land from yet another man?

My ancestors were enslaved for over two hundred years,
sweating blood and shedding tears,
whipped, made to work in the fields from dawn to dusk
without pay, while being labeled only three-fifths of a man.
They built this nation which was stolen from my native ancestors.

Some might say slavery was good,
because it brought Africans to this great nation.
Would my ancestors have thought twice if they knew
the ticket price would cost them their freedom in life?
Nevertheless, they paid the sacrifice.

My native ancestors were robbed of their land,
and there is Thanksgiving for Plymouth Rock?
All it led to was culture shock and the decline
of my proud Indian nation, which received no recompense
for the pain and lost of their vast plains.

Emancipated, they never received their forty acres and a mule,
my ancestors were used as tools to build this nation
without any compensation; today we are still labeled
a minority or someone of inferiority just because
of the color of our skin.

They did not ask to be put on a plantation field
to sweat blood and shed tears.
Neither did they ask to be put on a reservation,
imprisoning them in their own nation.
My two ancestral blood lines of race were disrespected.

I thank God the Almighty for life,
and even through strife we made it through.
The voyage from Africa united my African and Indian
ancestors, which brought about me,
a proud African-American Indian who is now free!

My past only made me strong and proud
of who I am, because we have endured!
God never allows more burden upon a people than they can bear.
They defined my past, but I along with my descendants
shall define our future.

A prospect made possible by the debts paid by my ancestors.
I won't forget them; they were proud, strong Africans and Indians
who endured the hardships and survived throughout time.
I will not forsake my future,
because it will be mine to define.

Why did slavery, concentration, and genocide
attempt to destroy my ancient blood?
The past if forgiven but not forgotten.
God has made me strong, and never again
as an African-American Indian will I be wronged!

© 1994.

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