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

Oh Elvis
You hound dog
You did do a bit of sniffin'
And when I read
That you had died at Graceland
Even my black heart
Almost forgave you

But then I thought about
All that money you'd made
You were such a bold white nigger
That you didn't even blacken your face
To put some shade on your act

I almost bought one of your records
By mistake -
I don't know how the lady confused you
With James Brown

But Elvis, my mother always told me
Never speak ill of the dead
So I'm not going to accuse you of rippin'
But I still can't forgive you
For what you said in the 1950's
The only thing a nigger could do for you
Was to clean your blue suede shoes

© L E Scott