Amerikkka was built on busting up families …

by Raymond Nat Turner

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.” – Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, human impersonator

Slave-auction-family-separation-web-300x200, Amerikkka was built on busting up families …, Culture Currents
According to Bloomberg opinion writer Noah Smith, “Separation of families was probably the atrocity that finally hardened American public opinion against slavery in the lead-up to the Civil War. If we tolerate it now, we’ve morally regressed since the 1850s.”

Bottom of the boat

rocking, rolling, thrashing

Violently – the quaking black

hole now her life. She had

No idea where she was

on the awful ocean,

Traveling shackled for

thousands of miles;

belly beginning to bulge

with the baby of her rum-

reeking rapist and his

“Zero Tolerance” policy



She would bear four more for

a ‘Master,’ who’d sell her

to the West Virginian wanting

her in the worst way –

Ripping picaninnies from

nursing breasts to become

bucks and wenches, working

fields and lusts of slavers – “that

was then,” they say, “this is now:”

“Mama, Mama, Papa, Papa, Mama, Papa …”

tears of toddlers flooding searing shrieks,

Torturous cacophony; the satanic symphony,

counterpoint to cool BOP, ICE acronyms –

Amerikkka’s great again –

At separating children from parents;

At spinning swastikas into scripture …

Once upon a time, mint julep-sipping,

Bullwhip-wielding christians in castles whitewashed by

Black labor, worked children and parents to death –

“And everyone lived happily ever after …”

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is artistic director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana, West Africa. He currently is poet-in-residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and California Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He is co-chair of the New York Chapter, National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat’s website. This poem first appeared on Dissident Voice.