by Stanley J. Tarver


My people,
   beautiful African people,
   multi-hued as the rainbows of the spring,
   shining black gold, sweet to the eye
   as a summer's sunset,
      is my people,
       jewel of the hemisphere.

My people,
   creative and fruitful,
   Africa's gift to the West
   is my people,
   the war booty of wars yet to cease,
   whose blood is the fuel that feeds
      the economy,
   whose breath is the life, of cultural life
   -- is my people.
Amber yellow, brown mahogany, black ivory
   is my people,
   the wealth of Americas,
   whose ghosts still dance in the pillars
      of the slave mansions,
   whose soul knows no bounds.

My people,
   Black gold,
      America's gold
   shining brighter than the mid-day sun.
   Black gold
      is America's gold,
      is my people - jewel of the hemisphere.


*This poem appeared in the April 1981 issue of the Sakura Review the Literary Magazine of the International House in New York.