Tag Archives: Nigger

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 word “Nigger”:

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Author’s note:
People, very often, have asked me why I’m so comfortable with the word “Nigger” being used around me. They just can’t understand, why an African-American would be so “not angry” when this particular word is used. I’ve honestly been thinking about this for a very long time, how to officially throw the word “Nigger” to the waste side, meaning take the power of meaning away from the word itself. Ironically, most people, especially African-Americans, really have no idea that the word Nigger, and the word Negro, for that matter, actually come from actual words in Latin. The word “Nigger” is derived from the Latin word “Niger” (just like the name of the country, in Africa…yes), which literally means the color “Black”. The word “Negro” is derived from the Latin word “Negro”, which means “To blaken/To make black”. However, the connotative meanings of both these words are exclusively, historically, meant to degrade & dehumanize anyone who is either Non-White, or even Non-European. And, occasionally, this term was even used against other Whites, like how it was used to dehumanize the Irish, during the 19th century, as droves of Irish immigrants came from Ireland, as a result of the historically infamous “Potato-Famine”. The following poem is my way of expressing how this word does not describe me.

A Nigger, I am not:

There’s just no way that I could ever be someone’s Nigger.
Allah is my Creator, it’s He who fashioned my noble figure.

He’s made me a Human being, higher, brighter, and better than the rest.
He has chosen me to be ahead of all creation; my status is the very best.

Never am I lower than an animal; my existence has great value & is substantial.
I’ve been guided to Islam, the noble path of many; I carry a very heavy mantle.

Allah doesn’t favor people because of their ethnicities, colors, nor races.
It’s only through believing in Him & doing good will we attain His graces.

This word Nigger has kept so many people back, from truly elevating to their rightful stations.
They have, unfortunately, bought into the lies that they are nothing & have given justifications.

Self-belittlement must come to an end; we are the ones whom Allah has created, with His own hands.
He has molded the bodies of our parents, Adam and Eve, from all different types of the Earth’s lands.

He has given us something that no one can take from us, no matter what they do.
It’s called the Soul; I’ve been given one, directly from my Creator & so have you.

So, the next time that you have the urge, to use this hateful word, think about what you’re really saying.
You yearn to take someone’s Humanity, with the utterance of just a single word, it is spiritual maiming.

Gareth Bryant/2012