I am a fossil from the past, the almanac, the information piled
in the archives section. Your greatest reference, your history.
I am Lucy, the 1974 fossil in Ethiopia’s afar region.
The root of life’s genesis, your direct ancestor.
The perceptive beast with a very primitive snout but with big brains.
See, I originated from Nubia; bathed in the Nile river and swam
across to the Congo river.
I was there when Kush was driven out of Egypt, witnessed my girl
Sheba establish the colony of Axum.
I still have fond memories of our fellowship at the Coptic Church.
I saw the Zagwe dynasty assume control of present day Ethiopia,
mingled with the artisans at La Venta and helped the Mayans
develop large tomb pyramids.
I was chilling with Constantinople when the crusaders captured
him and plundered the Byzantine empire.
I also witnessed the introduction of the first domed round basilica.
I was among the first African slaves brought to the North American
colony of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 to help in the production of tobacco.
I endured the turbulent era of Jim crow until the U.S supreme court
declared the civil rights act of 1875 unconstitutional.
I saw the first Boer war between Great Britain and the Boers of
Transvaal and orange free state, fought alongside Bambaata in the
Natal revolt until he was killed.
I saw the iceberg that sunk the titanic in 1912, watched the filming
of the MGM lion a few years later.
I also witnessed the rise of fascism in Italy under Mussolini and
I watched great powers fall after the second world war and the
start of the cold war.
I am the niggerati from the Harlem renaissance.
I got high on Langston Hughes’s smooth jazz poetry, watched
Aaron Douglass exemplify the new negro philosophy with art,
witnessed Jacob Lawrence become the first mainstream African
I performed with Josephine baker in “la revue negre” in Paris and slow
danced to “what a little moon light can do” by Billie holiday.
Marcus Garvey’s shipping passenger line, “black star line” facilitated
my return to my ancestral land.
I saw the rise of African Nationalists like Kwame Nkrumah, Leopold
Senghor and Patrice Lumumba.
I helped W.E Dubois compile, “Souls of black folk” and nursed him
til he died in 1963.
The next day, i listened to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.
Got inspired and marched with him from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.
I watched Huey Newton and Bobby Seale form the black panther movement.
I was there when the civil rights act of 1968 was signed.
I saw young Africa grow up and become independent from Colonial rule.
Witnessed Uganda’s flag replace the Union Jack in 1962.
Felt the waves of euphoria fill the continent and the buzz of freedom spread
I was there when Nelson Mandela was freed after spending 27years behind
I witnessed F.W. de Klerk create a multi-racial democracy and saw the Madiba
become President of South Africa in 1994.
Maya Angelou went on to describe me in her poem, “Phenomenal woman”
I lived to see Ellen Johnson Sirleaf become President of Liberia and saw the
reality of a black president in the United States.
I am the photo-shopped fossil of the 21st Century, the unwritten manuscript,
the unfinished historical documentation, the manipulated scripts and pirated
copies being produced and sold on the internet.
The writer, the Spoken word poet, the thinker, the revolutionist, the Pan Africanist,
the historian, the student.
The half baked information wrapped around journalism, the tabloids –
Their story, not my story.
I will be His-story.
I am History.