Toronto / August 2019 - August 1, is emancipation day, a day when African Canadians along with others of the African diaspora throughout the Americas (including the Caribbean) and Europe, reflect and pay homage to the ancestors who resisted and survived their enslavement as an African people, so that we can be here… so that I can be here.
Ontario-based human rights lawyer and public intellectual, Anthony N. Morgan in his latest article on Emancipation day reminds us that “August 1, 2019 marks the 185th anniversary of Emancipation Day: a celebratory recognition of Black freedom in Canada. Emancipation Day honors the history, memory, and legacy of Black Canadians’ resistance to white supremacy. It also recognizes Canada’s complicity in the enslaving of Africans and how this colonial heritage stole Black liberation”.
I use this space to pay homage especially to the women who birthed me - my mother and her mother and her mother and so on to infinity. I am blessed with the genes of Black women brilliance, magic and resilience.
As you read this poem in place of my monthly blog, I’m lying somewhere on a beach dreaming liberation…
Won't you Celebrate with me
BY LUCILLE CLIFTON
won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
Lucille Clifton, “won't you celebrate with me” from Book of Light. Copyright © 1993 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.