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Roots

The dilution of our ethnicity
sweetness poured from honey
We’ve grown accustomed to tasting
Bitterness, and bloodied lips
the sticky thumb print used
to weigh us under 
left a gooey residual on our skin
fingerprints at crime scenes
are inconclusive like a 
Mississippi murder

No longer do we see ourselves 
As beautifully black, but
segmented & aware
of some deeper thing
that grows like a weed

Our vocabulary
marred with nigger this 
and nigger that
Our prophetic
Tongue no longer spoke
With hands uplifted
“Behold! the only thing 
greater than yourself”
  to we shall overcome
on a staircase 
aspiring higher

It's surprising
We are who we are
going as far as we did
on a mentality of
 separate but equal
When actually
the inevitability
of us being greater
than those who
oppressed us
was within reach
when we stopped 
looking down at the ground
settling for bottom branches.

Separate but equal
became slavery's sequel
what was our prequel?
Not by soliloquy
or by any means
but an audience amped
to hear instead of listen

The system is rigged
and only deaf ears 
can change it
Wouldn't it be nice
for them to remove 
the chains from their own mind
but truth is,
to enslave a man
you, yourself, are enslaved
Maybe with this revelation
we wouldn't
keep singing sweet by and by
every time Trayvon's
momma cries.

Master know he’s the master
And slave knows he’s the slave
When the judge slams the gavel
And says twenty-five to life
Who owns the prison system?

We went from field, to high rises
And still chasing them. 
We gotta wake up from within
Remember where we come from; 
who we belong to 
It’s a good thing 
Uncovering our roots.

Copyright © TS Lewis | Year Posted 2016

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  1. Date: 6/7/2016 8:09:00 PM

    The conflict between the pains away from root and the instinctive quest for them beautifully portrayed ... not just a particular ethnic group, all sensitive readers will enjoy ....

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