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Black History Matters  

February 3, 2017

During a nationwide wave of lunch counter sit-ins in the early ‘60s, these young people in New York City look defiant and confident they’ll prevail.

by Raymond Nat Turner

Open sesame
Twisting useless, endless parades
of powdered wigs, wars, battles, bills,
laws, names, dates, great men, generals,
captains of industry, presidents
Bore us to tears …

We must be real
Historians  –
Ju-ju workers with Way Back Machines
Alchemists mixing molten metals –
Sorcerers with wise incantations, truth serum formulas
in own voices, our own words

We must be real
Historians –
Self-educated autodidactic diggers deep into
Bloody soil – vaults of Pacifica, Freedom Archives
Rediscovering resistance roots, mass movement magic
Aqua vitae, water of life boiling, bubbling, up from below –
As it always has, always will …

We must be real
Historians –
History becoming our clock; telling us what time it is –
Compass for finding ourselves; grounding our feet,
Ordering our steps – telling us where we must be –
Reminding us: Who’s sitting in … matters more
than who’s sitting in the White House…

Raymond Nat Turner © 2017 All Rights Reserved. Raymond Nat Turner is an acclaimed poet and performance artist. Find more of his work at and contact him at

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