Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Renee’ Drummond-Brown writes


cut off
as he ‘swangs’
10 yrs. ol’
a man.
Eyes bulging
from his head
sweat pouring
from his glands.
Breath slipping fast.
in both hands;
Mob ‘yellin’
“Swing low
sweet chariot
to carry you home”.

the last to leave
as he
and become
a man
poplar tree. 
 The Patriots -- Abraham Jacobs

1 comment:

  1. Lynching is an extrajudicial execution by a group of people. Vigilantism has a long history, but lynching is a specifically American term – “lynch law” arose out of a series of whippings, property seizures, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscriptions by justice of the peace Charles Lynch and his Virginia associates against British sympathizers during the American Revolution; their actions were legitimized by the state’s legislature in 1782. Most lynchings in the US have been of African-American men in the South (85% of them), but women and children were also lynched, though they also occurred elsewhere, and victims have also included Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans were also lynched. Other ethnicities, including Finns, Jews, Germans, and Italians were also lynched occasionally. According to the Tuskegee Institute, which kept the most complete records, 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Victims were hanged, shot repeatedly, burned alive, forced to jump off a bridge, dragged behind vehicles or horses, or killed by other means. Sometimes they were also tortured and castrated, with fingers, toes, ears, or genitalia sometimes removed and sold as souvenirs. In one particularly horrific incident, in 1916 Jesse Washington was repeatedly lowered and raised onto a fire for about 2 hours in Waco, Texas. In Paris, Texas, Henry Smith was fastened to a wooden platform, tortured for 50 minutes with red-hot iron brands, and burned alive while more than 10,000 spectators cheered. Many hangings were professionally photographed and sold as postcards, newspapers sometimes carried advance notices, railroad agents sold excursion tickets to announced lynching sites, and entire families gathered as spectators. It was not uncommon for people who were prominent in the area’s political and business circles to encourage or organize the mobs. The reasons were numerous: in addition to crimes like murder, arson, looting, and so forth, victims were accused of behaviors such as improper behavior towards white women, arguing with white men or suing them or testifying against them, being obnoxious or disreputable, using obscene language, trying to vote or voting for the “wrong” party, resisting the mob, and acting suspiciously.

    Before the Civil War, Wallace Willis, a Choctaw slave in Mississippi, was sent by his owner to work at the Spencer Academy, a Choctaw boarding school in the Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). The academy's superintendant attended a concert by the Jubillee Singers of Fisk University in 1871 and provided them with songs he had heard Willis singing, including "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," one of the most familiar "negro spirituals." The Jubille Singers recorded it in 1909, and many regard the song as referring in a coded way to the Underground Railroad, the freedom movement that helped slaves people escape from the South.

    Swing low, sweet chariot
    Coming for to carry me home
    Swing low, sweet chariot
    Coming for to carry me home

    I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
    Coming for to carry me home)
    A band of angels coming after me
    (Coming for to carry me home)

    If you get there before I do
    (Coming for to carry me home)
    Tell all of my friends, that I'm coming there too
    (Coming for to carry me home)


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?