Slavery

There was a cry in the night
A sigh in the morning
And in between
A blood was lost,
Lost to the ground
And lost to the seas,
For the cage was not outwitted
When capture was not outlived,
Nor did the planter refuse
What the ocean did not consume;
There was honey on the block,
There was gold in the plot
And no breath of humans
Was ever their equal.
But fish out a spot in that mire
And call it your own for hire
For gone are the days
Without their pain
And common the age
Without the name.
Ngaruka – 1991

Ngaruka was a long time Binghamton resident and anti-apartheid activist. With the US support for the Apartheid government in Namibia (South West Africa) and South Africa, he was forced to leave his home country in the early 1980s in order to pursue higher education, as blacks were openly discriminated against at every level of society. After many years spent outside his beloved Namibia (called by its colonial name “South West Africa” when he left), Ngaruka was finally able to go home earlier this year. He earned his PhD from Binghamton University.

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