Warrior Queen

by Mwatabu S. Okantah

My brother, better mind how you walk on de 
  De young lambs must find de way,
For your foot might slip, and yo'soul git lost,
  De young lambs must find de way.


"Speak, Garvey, Speak!"

the hall
is filled with people.
the atmosphere is electric.
i can see it now,
as if it were just yesterday,
as if i were there.
i see you,
that pistol packed away in your purse,
another concealed
in your bosom.
everyone had come prepared.
freedom was there
to grasp with our own hands
on this night.
even the police knew
to leave well enough alone.

"Africa for the Africans,
at home and

Black Star Liner.
said, "Up you mighty race,
what you will ..."
you were there.
you stood.  no fear.
you dared.
in Muscle Shoals.  in New Orleans.
in Los Angeles.  in Chicago.  in New York.
in London.  at the UN.
you cared.  you organized.
UNIA.  republican.  communist.
Ethiopian Women.  Mt. Addis Ababa.
Republic of New Africa.
you said, "...fifteen cents
an hour,
it was just like slavery
you told us, "I aint askin' for no bill,
I demand reparations!"

the road from New Iberia
is long.
Warrior Queen road.
Queen Mother Yaa Asantewa's road.
Harriet and Sojourner's road.
Nora Henry's African mama's road.
hard winding road.
Queen Mother didn't have to change your
name because you were already a
Moor road.
you have been saying,
"We Africans!"
for a long

                 for Queen Mother Audley Moore
                     (1898 to 1995)

Warrior Queen by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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