Inspiration: Gore Island was inspired by a picture of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, that appeared in the Washington Post many years ago. It showed them standing in–the door of no return–on Gore Island. It was at a fort where captured slaves were kept until they were loaded on ships to the Americas.
I say the picture and feelings, sights and sounds filled my mind and body. My DNA vibrated with a special kind of chill. I tried to give it voice. I know 60 percent of my DNA comes from ancestors who were slaves, 20 percent from Europeans and 20 percent from Native Americans. This poem honors my African Ancestors.
I invited their spirits to tell their story and this is what they said:
Stripped from the bosom
Which held, where planted
Which nurtured, where grew
Stolen in the darkness
When no one knew
Until the break of dawn on a new day…
Play poem below.