Halfway through, I am haunted by Arna Bontemps’ Black Thunder. Knee-deep in mud, I am shaken by the roar, the clouds, the lightning, the rising streams. The shadows are alive. The horses scare me. Everything is an omen. I want to be free — as free as a bird, as free as Thomas Jefferson — free from the lash, free from the trunk of a tree. I pick your crops. I nurse your children. I polish your silver. I bleed, and bleed, and bleed. My hands, my back, my face. Look at me.
November 24, 2020
[ 939 ]
Categories: New Poems & Pieces
Tags: Arna Bontemps, Black Thunder, Diaries, Gabriel Prosser, History, Journals, Library of America, Reading, Slavery, The Harlem Renaissance, Thomas Jefferson, Virginia