Tag Archives: Fugitive Slave Act

Gareth Bryant’s Poetic-Commentary on the film, “12 Years A Slave”:

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Solomon Northup pic

Author’s Note:
“12 Years A Slave” is a movie, an internationally celebrated film, chronicling the life & times of a Solomon Northup, from 1841-1853, an African American, free, and not just free, but, born-free, a native of Saratoga, New York. An outspoken, well-spoken, intelligent, family-man, whom is also, well-traveled, well-experienced, well-skilled, in the musical & vocational-arts of the time in which he lived. Yet sadly, he was captured & subsequently sold into Slavery in the Antebellum American-South: his life turned for the worst, in ways that prior to him deceived & captured, thus thrown unjustly into the world of bondage, as well as forced-servitude, would’ve/could’ve never imagined, before that had occurred-This is his story, in my poetic-words.

Hope that Remains in the Heart:

Although a freeman from birth, he was coerced, forced, tricked by two menacing Slave-Hunters from the South.
They pretended to be his friend: lured him to the Nation’s Capitol and tainted the wine that went into his mouth.

These persons offered him an opportunity to earn extra-money for his family.
Little did he know that he was being set-up to endure a decade-long tragedy.

Drunk and helpless, he was bounded and sold to Men looking for someone else, he just fit the “description”.
Any Black in those days would’ve “fit the description” & all you needed to be guilty was a tanned-complexion.

But, as hard as those who held him hostage abused him, they couldn’t make him a Slave in his mind and heart.
He did not know what would become of him next. But, yet, he had held on to fact that he was free from the start.

His first trials of being a Slave were being held, against his will, within the same exact city which was the center of false-liberty.
These United States, who fought Great Britain decades yore, for freedom, had denied its own natives of the taste of Humanity.

He himself was beaten & whipped, in order to tear away his dignity, just as the lash had teared his tender flesh.
He, along with his ethnic brethren, had been subjugated to toil day and night, appeasing their masters, no rest.

Men were separated from their wives, and daughters, forced to know the heinous violations, set-out by their captor’s lusts.
These Women were the play-things of Slave-Owners, to be used, manipulated sexually, they couldn’t dare make any fuss.

These unspeakable rapes of the body, mind, and spirit, caused many to prefer death over life, better to succum to demise than strife.
However, this Man, born a Human, lowered to a boy, an animal, learned to become a Man, once again, through ambition, endurance.

Yet, throughout all of which was imposed upon him, he was never bitter or lost any Hope.
Constant thoughts and yearning of being reunited with his family always helped him cope.

He was betrayed by those whom he trusted, yet still learned to confide & be confident in the goodwill of his fellow Man.
Little did he know that all of what he had suffered would yield him light at the end of the tunnel, all part of Allah’s plan.

Divine-Providence triumphed, regardless of lack of consequence on part of Slaveowners, Taskmasters, who dehumanized.
After 12-years of wrongful captivity, he was founded, by the help of a Man of conscience & his freedom was finally realized.

He authored his incredible experiences, becoming internationally renown, helping to spark, catalyze the movement called Abolition.
Being an inspiration, to all those who were freed & bondaged, that Hope is not lost, that there are in fact ways to achieve liberation.

His life is now a celebrated open-book…
…Learn about him take a peek, a look.

He has been able to relate his story, which has been lived by so many others…
…Through him, we have a clear glimpse of the suffering of our Human brothers.

How he died and where he’s buried isn’t now known, but that’s okay…
…His resolve, courage, legacy, must be shared with the World today.

Gareth Bryant/2013

My thoughts on the 4th of July:

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Author’s Note:

July 4th-Weekend is where people put up their American flags, on their home doors, front lawns, windows, and/or cars & have day-long BBQ’s in their backyards, or go to beaches, celebrating the commemoration of how American Colonists stood against the British Crown & resisted tyranny. I would just like to present this poem, about the reality of fallacy & self-deception, of being patriotic, to a nation, like the United States-Even though she, herself, has felt the sting of tyrannical suppression, has, ironically, been historically known to oppress other peoples & nations, robbing them of independence, freedom, justice, and equality, while portraying to be the torchbearer of independence, liberation, freedom, justice, and equality-Everything from the establishment of the 3/5th Compromise, constitutionalizing the further dehumanization of the African-American, as not even being even Human, rather, only beasts of burden, to the violation of peace & land treaties, made to Native-American nations & tribes, to the Indian Removal Act, to the Fugitive Slave Act, to the Indian-Wars, which further decimated the power, majesty, culture, and population of the once proud & dignified original peoples of the Americas, in North America, to the 1st Red-Scare of the 1920’s, after World-War I, to the internment of Japanese-Americans, during World-War II, to the 2nd Red-Scare of the 1950’s, during the Cold-War era, to the assassination of JFK, which exposed the shadow-rulers & shadow-government of this nation, to the Vietnam-War, and all other unjust military invasions of nations, before & thereafter, to COINTELPRO, to the fallacy of 9-11, in which an entire religious populace has been made the perpetual subject of political, & social religious-profiling, to the Patriot Act, the prelude to the NDAA, and so many examples-Is this a nation truly worthy of your patriotism? You must all ask yourselves this important question!!!

The Pledge of Illusion:

What good is a pledge, when the loyalty is always one-sided?
This pledge of allegiance of the United States is often biased.

The false cloak of “American-Values” has tragically consumed the trust & good-will of many.
When our hands are on our chests, do we think of those oppressed by this nation’s tyranny?

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism, the motivating force being power & racism.

The “Founding-Fathers”  built this nation using free-labor of captives during slavery.
The carnage committed against Native-Americans was deemed as justified savagery.

We forgot about the Black-Codes & Jim-Crow; most of us are oblivious, we really don’t know.
What happened to “Black Wall Street” isn’t found in any school-books that they want to show.

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism; the motivating force is power & racism.

America wants no one with nuclear-weapons, yet they’re the only ones who ever used them.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki, cities full of civilians, were they ever a threat to America’s freedom?

Vietnam was a country used as a testing-ground for Agent-Orange and Napalm.
The U.S. tried to force Democracy upon them, with the policy of the strong-arm.

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism; the motivating force is power & racism.

So, the next time that you want to pledge allegiance to the flag, think clearly of the past.
Decide for yourself, whether your loyalty to a regime is valid; do a compare & contrast.

Gareth Bryant/2012