"I was inspired to write after the Stirling performance by Usain Bolt and other black athletes last year. Coincidentally I did most of the work on my birthday. Have not given it much publicity since then except to show it to a few friends," Michael Dedey.
Have I No Glory
Dedicate to Usain Bolt and all Black Athletes.
You cannot miss me
Melanin in my skin makes it impermeable to light
At night my teeth give me away
My ancestors built the pyramids
I have survived the slave raiders
I survived the long voyages in bondage, darkness and pain
I have survived the greatest holocaust in human history
But the world denies me
The world denies me glory
My shame, their quilt, is wished away.
The holocaust of the 6,000,000 is more enduring than the holocaust of 60,000,000
Yesterday I was shamefully bound and forced to leave Africa without a visa
Today, I shamelessly flee Africa unbound but have to pay for a visa
After apartheid I was encouraged to forgive and forget
I was encouraged to form a RAINBOW nation while Nazi war criminals are still pursued
My land and its resources nourish and enrich the world but I remain poor
The world; East, West, North and South gang up against me and I see it
But my leaders say otherwise
My leaders sit, dine and wine with my oppressors
My leaders connive, steal, cheat and oppress me
My leaders have become my oppressor
My spirit is low
I have learnt to survive, my spirit is lifted with voices from the past
Martin Luther King Jr.
Are all my heroes dead?
Mandela’s resilience and Obama’s achievement gives me hope
It tells me, ‘Yes We Can’
Today I saw a Bolt of lightning
As if to re-assure me, it flashed 100 times
Then it flashed 200 times
I smiled for that Bolt of lightning shook Hitler in his grave
That Bolt of lightning made Jesse Owens smile
Subsequent bolts were all of my kind
Impervious to light, strengthened by years of hard labour
Emboldened by years of discrimination
Run, my brethren, run
In this race, there can be no doubt, who the victor is
Maybe some DNA test will prove that you are not one of us
Until then, I say, run like no bodies business
Bolt like thunder and flash like lightening
For in you, I see my glory today.
(13th September 2009)