Sunday, February 24, 2019
By Toni Truesdale
Northern winds slanting sleet,
The great still silence of heavy snow
Falling gently into vacant spaces;
Magnifying moon on a deep, dark night,
Deeply shawdowing indigo blues
Under still shimmering white.
Sentry starkly quiet trees
Over sleeping fecundity.
Long dreaming nights,
Under soft tactile blankets.
Savory smells of simmering soups
And heavily fragrant breads,
Taken from ancient stoves
With sacred inherited hands.
The cosmic fluidity of timeless cycles
On sovereign lands;
The old woman smiles
Copyright T.Truesdale 2019
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Over 250 Slave Revolts in the states, hundreds more in the Caribbean and South Americas to self liberate kidnapped Africans. Resistance to slavery was common in passive and active ways; some were work slow downs, conjuring, religious practices, conspiracies and violence.
Gabriel's revolt is depicted here, it was in 1800 planned with his wife Nanny, brothers Solomon and Martin; with at least 1000 more slaves on different plantations in Virginia they set out to overthrow the plantation system on a dark stormy night. Betrayed, they were apprehended and many executed, a few were sent to Nova Scotia whose descendants helped establish Sierra Leone.
Their banner evoked the words of Patrick Henry on the verge of the American Revolutionary war
"Death or Liberty".
The history of our country must be told in truth, we are a great nation because we fought to be so, but never forget blood is still on the land.
To become true to the promise of the future acknowledge the past, for we were built on the lives of slaves, indentured servants, child labor, and the death of millions Indigenous people here before the West wrested the land.
Civil rights are not a guarantee but must be safeguarded as we struggle to be a more perfect nation and live up to the proud words in our Constitution.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
New World Priestess
By Toni Truesdale
The Maroon societies of the Americas and Caribbean established their own codes of political, spiritual and judicial systems. Often a mix of the many African tribes and American Indigenous, these diverse populations created “free states” within countries; and were comprised of native peoples, self-liberated slaves, free blacks and even poor white or runaway indentured servants.
Village Chiefs or captains where chosen in their unusually egalitarian governments. They were often organized into matrilineal social systems. Spiritual practices included divination, spirit possession, ancestor worship with intense dance rituals and deeply beautiful music lead by the drum. The variations of this are endless as are individual maroon populations.
The first recorded settlement in the Americas was in 1562. But throughout the 1600’s into the 18th century free societies existed in remote areas of Columbia, French Guiana, Jamaica, Surinam, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Great Dismal Swamp as well as the Florida Seminole Nation. Most famous of all are the Quilombos of Brazil. Palmares of the rainforest evaded the brutal Portuguese for generations. The hero warrior Zumbi is now celebrated nationally.
The descendants survive today across the Americas and Caribbean often in still sovereign societies recognized by their nation governments.
Remember and celebrate their self-determined lives and historical heritage.
Say his name
Friday, February 1, 2019
Angel of Truth:
Spirit of Reconciliation
by Toni Truesdale
Peace cannot be absolute,
Until the Process is complete.
The courageous steps towards reconciliation are
Full of pain, tears, heartbreak...
The anguish needs recognition;
And responsibility accepted,
For perception of historical grief
Must be believed, by all...
May be inexact;
But told with unconditional truth,
To have an amnesty in equality;
And in forgiveness, peace.
T. Truesdale copyright 2009