Historical Presence

by Tsuhai Nzinga

It’s the presence of history

We witnessed today

It’s the presence of hate

Born a long ago yesterday

It was nothing new

To people who know its wrath

For history is rife

Of this history’s warpath

It is the presence of history

That we saw in the streets

Demanding its hate

Be allowed to unleash

It was nothing new

To those who know its wrath

We hear it called ‘civil’ war

When its white being attacked.

The presence of history

Mocked us today.

Stood in our face

And dared us to sway.

The hate took to the street

Pounding pavement, doors and walls

The hate took to the street

White clad and thousands strong

The hate has evolved

Beyond the sheets and burning cross

And history hit the streets today

Because the Civil War was lost.

It is the presence of this history

Of ‘civility’ as Blacks have known it

It is the presence of this history

Of the white that refuses to own it.

It is the presence of this history

That finds us here today

It is the presence of this history

That stormed Democracy this day.

Let us never forget

That Black folk already know.

The hate you felt and saw today

Is but a fraction of what hate sows

Tsuhai Nzinga

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Copyright 2021 Cynthia Alease Smith, Ed.D.