African Diaspora, black france, black Holland

May 6th marked the anniversary of Saatije Baartman’s remains finally being returned to Africa from the French government after 200 years.

Hat tip: Lorraine Spencer

May 6th marked the anniversary of Saatije Baartman’s remains finally being returned to Africa from the French government after 200 years. (May 6, 2002)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Baartman

Sarah was a slave to Dutch owners taken to Europe and put on display like an animal. Lovely poem by Diana Ferrrus

“I’ve come to take you home –
home, remember the veld?
the lush green grass beneath the big oak trees
the air is cool there and the sun does not burn.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white
and the water in the stream chuckle sing-songs
as it hobbles along over little stones.

I have come to wrench you away –
away from the poking eyes
of the man-made monster
who lives in the dark
with his clutches of imperialism
who dissects your body bit by bit
who likens your soul to that of Satan
and declares himself the ultimate god!

I have come to soothe your heavy heart
I offer my bosom to your weary soul
I will cover your face with the palms of my hands
I will run my lips over lines in your neck
I will feast my eyes on the beauty of you
and I will sing for you
for I have come to bring you peace.

I have come to take you home
where the ancient mountains shout your name.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white –
I have come to take you home
where I will sing for you
for you have brought me peace.”

Diana Ferrus, “A poem for Sarah Baartman”

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