one woman's journey to wholeness…

Posts tagged ‘slavery’

Drumming Back To Freedom…

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Photo by Toni Roberts; Djembe


   the weather is finally warming…

soon it will be time to

return to the


to the


drumming back to freedom

   under the heat of the city sun…

back to


back to


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Yemaya–Photo by Toni Roberts


dancing to the call of the


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Photo by Toni Roberts

in the wild abandon of


we are back in the


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Tools for Journeying…Photo by Toni Roberts


released from our

   rat-infested tenements

from the



grinding poverty



that has not abated since first they

dragged us




across the waters

to this

new world

this new version of






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Grandfathers and Drum; Photo by Toni Roberts

   and so…

in the noisy

crowded summer heat

of a Harlem park

we beat our drums

and dance our way

back home



to the




Toni Roberts’ Artwork and Photography are available at:

What’s All The Fuss About? Abuse And Violence Is The American Way!

4th of July

4th of July

As a child
My father beat me

Whippings with a heavy, black, leather belt
Bleeding welts on my thighs

I also learned from him
How a man treats the woman he professes to love
The woman he has promised to love, honor and protect
In sickness and in health
‘Til death do they part

Like clockwork
Every Friday night
Just as the fifth of scotch he’d been nursing all evening
Was about halfway gone
He’d start an argument with my mother
Which always ended with him beating her up

I thought that this was the way families were
As I led my legally blind mother
To the optometrist every Monday after school
Her glasses having once again gotten themselves broken
As they flew across the room
Under the fierce blow of my father’s fist
Upon the side of my mother’s face

Wasn’t this what all husbands did?
The cops came regularly either to our apartment
Or that of our Irish neighbors next door
Or to the Italian family upstairs
It was a weekend ritual: call-the-cops-who-break-up-the-fight-husband-in-one-corner-wife-in-the-other “Everyone calm down! Be a good fella and stop beatin’ up your wife”
In-the-tragicomedy-of-family-life-behind-closed-doors in black-and-white-red-blue-and-bruised-all-over-angry-fearful-violent-Bullying-guilty-paranoid-bombing-nations-killing-women-and-children—collateral damage—destroying-governments-Murdering-legitimate-leaders-and-appointing-our-own-let’s-get-them-before-they-get-us-America

And then we naively ask:
Why do our young men pick up assault rifles?
And mow down a school full of children?

Why do athletes—our national heroes
Knife their wives to death?
Punch their girlfriends out in elevators?
Discipline a four year old with a “switch”
Leaving scars and bruises
On tender still-forming bodies and minds?
Are they perhaps…unconsciously
Whipping the bodacious rebelliousness out of their young?
Breaking them in?
Making them more amenable to continuing to play
A subservient role in society?
Thus carrying on the work of the slave master
Generation after generation after generation

No need for us to fear
Isis or Isle
Or Putin
Or China
Or Iran
Or whoever the boogey-man-of-the-day-coming-to-get-us
May be…
For just like ol’ Khrushchev said
Back in the day when the Soviet Union was the boogey-man
We are the enemy
Destroying ourselves
From the inside out

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