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Celeste Butler Mendez

To Daughters for Your Sons

I am the slave hand that rocked the cradle
back and forth gently as my pink son slept.
While on a dirt floor, my brown son crept.
As I catered to masters' mood, my black son wept.

The year 1712, by a lake, grandma heard it.
Willie Lynch, his word; she cried as he spoke it.
This is her story, she told as a mother;
each one her son, each one their brother.

Grandma looked kind of sad, recalling tales by dark waters.
She spoke of her sons as she spoke to her daughters;
rear them up to be educated, leaders of men.
Teach them to fight; not with sword but with pen.

You are the black women who'll rock the cradle;
back and forth to sons in every coloration.
Light, brown, or black, educate each generation
Side by side with fathers, set a strong foundation.

[...] Read more

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