Sankofa

On March 6, 2013, The New Hampshire Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted Senate Bill 187 ought to pass the full Senate. This bill would posthumously grant freedom to twenty slaves who petitioned for their freedom in 1779. The original petition “languished for lack of action,” for two hundred twenty-four years. It is too late. It is not too late.

Blessed be the memories
of Nero, Pharaoh, Cato and Cesar,
of Zebulon and Quam,
of Samuel, Will, Jack, and Cipio,
of Seneca, and Peter,
of Cato, Pharaoh and Windsor,
of Garrott and Kittredge,
of Peter and Prince.

Blessed and remembered
be their legacy in family and town.

And blessed be Sankofa to you,
here and in all places and in all situations
however, you define it …

go back and take it …
right the wrongs that have been done before …
learn from the past …
you cannot go forward until
you learn where you have come from …

Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,
It is not wrong to return for what you have forgotten.
(Akan, loose trans.)

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4 Responses to Sankofa

  1. Brilliant, Maren. This poem is a gift. I hope you publish it widely.

  2. celestem579 says:

    Beautiful, Maren. Thank you for making me aware of this. And! It was wonderful to see you last Sunday. Only wish I could have said hello. Blessings, Celeste

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