“REPARATIONS: A Nation Divided”

A burn heals but may leave a scar.

A cut is warmed by renewed skin and recovers from journeys deep and far.

A broken heart mends but may leave trails of sorrow.

Slavery in comparison is spoken of and remembered yet can never be repaired nor casually ignored.

Pride often endures wounds untold for years but may also end tomorrow.

Self-esteem may be lowered but has the capacity to rise again unlike the indelible imprints of slavery…mercilessly stripped, raped and whored.

The history of slavery is a malignant cancer with no cure and no relief from ancestral cries soaring like arrows.

There is anger, remorse and resentment but nothing can replace nor repair the whips, the irons and indignities.

No job, no degree, no monetary relief will change the burdens carried on bended knees.

I am forever reminded of tongues never known, cultures forever lost and lessons untaught.

We can’t bring back songs unsung nor names forgotten and hidden under murderous tones.

Reparations CANNOT replenish the richness of severed familial bonds buried beneath hundreds of years of oceans’ salts.

What ought be is to acknowledge the value of lives loss, souls tortured and freedoms sold.

What should occur is the reclaiming of stories honored and truths untold.

What might calm tempers and unrest is the building of schools with doors unchained by inequity.

Let those doors fly open and wide – overflowing with the uplifting force of education and equality.

Gift our children with the restorative nature of peace that caresses their colorful faces when allowed to discuss, explore and share.

What may possibly regenerate dreams is the diminishing of poverty, decimation of injustice and reconstruction of a broken system commonly known as “healthcare”.

Here stands a challenge to admit the wrongs of the past and to teach about uncivilized and dehumanizing acts.

Herein lies an opportunity to destroy the inhuman desire for bloodshed in future generations.

This dimension of space and time is to restore moments stolen from families unjustly held behind prison bars and to infuse this great nation with hope-bold and daring…and then to look into innocent eyes and expect the reciprocating possibilities of healing reparations.

By: Daphne Knox McClain

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