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From Earth Colours by L E Scott
South Africa Election Day
For those who have died
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born, for we are asked to forgive a multitude of white sins visited upon us and at the same time carry on the belief that humankind's humanity somehow rests in the act of our forgiveness. So many Black people on the face of this earth have died for no other reason than that they were not white.
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born, for in the midst of so much hate and deprivation, not only have we been asked to strive but to forgive as we have buried so many Steve Bikos and Dr. Kings. What a wondrous gift and burden God has bestowed upon us, that in our hands so much responsibility rests while those who have claimed this very position have boot-marched over it.
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born, for we have been asked to toil and plant the seeds and yet have been denied a full taste of the harvest. And as we have brought this food to the tables of others, we have been asked to do so with a subservient and humble smile. We have been asked to breastfeed the very ones who for so long carried on the mantle of our oppression. Even as we have been murdered we have been charged with being the beasts among humanity.
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born, for we have been through the fires of Sharpeville, Mississippi, Soweto, Robin Island and Alabama and now the jailers of those places are asking those who have been so unfairly jailed not to seek revenge or retribution.
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born, for having survived with a belief far transcending the fear of God, and against all the odds, the burden of forgiveness has now been added to the weight we have carried. Let this be the warning to the second-born. Let this be the last time.
Truly, Black people must be God's first-born and as James Baldwin said, speaking of the second-born: "It is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent ...."
Eulogy To Elvis
But then I thought about
I almost bought one of your records
But Elvis, my mother always told me
© L E Scott