I sought after the
Darker brother, because
He could spot
The invisible man,
The souls of black folks,
And the spook behind the door.
I found this negro speaking
Of rivers through a pale mask;
His voice like a caged bird
Trying to sing. His lips were the color purple;
His skin like a raisin in the sun.
But he was still beloved, because he spoke
Of Mawu, Legba, and the Orishas,
Of the riches of the empire of Mali,
And of Kentake of Meroe's bravery.
He ended his speech with his story
Of how he came up from slavery.
Then he charged me to follow the griot's way:
To speak our histories until my final day.