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Forgotten Voices Blog

Forgotten Voices is a project between Poole Museums Service and students from Poole High School to mark Black History Month 2014. Students will explore slavery and abolition in Poole using resources from the Poole History Centre. Students will also work with local historian and poet Louisa Adjoa Parker to express their own ideas through creative writing.

This blog records the progress of the project and provides a space for the young people to reflect on what they are learning. The students will also publish their poems here.

 

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Final Poems Published

Trudie ColePosted by Trudie Cole at 16/12/2014 14:36:49


Here are the last of the poems and writings. I was moved by them, I hope you are too.


I Remember

I remember seeing everyone else happy

I remember feeling the wrath of the cold

I remember hearing everyone around me in joy

I remember touching the cold lonely metal on the bench

I remember tasting the blood in my mouth, from

Grinding my teeth from the fear of being rejected.

 

Is It Just the Colour of Skin

Black men of our kind betrayed us,

There they stand whipping us.

Trying to get us into lines using weapons alone,

We aren’t animals yet we have collars and chains,

I look up at the sky to see birds flying around,

That’s how I was but not anymore,

Women scream and plead to be free,

Whips crack every second,

We walk pair by pair in-line like a pack of wolves,

Already my body is marked from head to tow,

I have done nothing to them,

Why am I the one to blame?

Each and every movement is closely watched,

Can’t I just be free?

What’s the difference between a white and a black man?

Is it just the colour of skin?

By Elisha

 

Why Can’t They Feel My Pain?

My bare back stung as my open wounds gushed crimson blood,

The awful stench of rotting flesh flooded up my nostrils making me gag – I could barely breathe.

 

Oh how I longed to see the sun, to stop movement and touch down on land.

I screamed, I moaned but no-one came. Why can’t they feel my pain?

 

Everyday I felt even worse, my filthy, heavy chains almost seemed to tighten around my flesh – rubbing down to the bone,

I cried all day as I stared at my deceased neighbours limp bodies beside me. . .

Some times I wish I was the one that died (put out of my misery.)

I screamed, I moaned but no one came. Why can’t they feel my pain?

 

Those ghastly white men ruined my life and now I’m left to die.

I’m stuck in the dark depths of despair, I will never go home. . .

I will never go home. . .

 

Life

Blood ran down my back like a waterfall,

Under the heat of the blazing sun my work slowed

Before I could say stop vicious lacerations etched my back

The nights were long but the days were longer,

Sharp leaves carved chunks out of my scarred flesh,

Blood stained my ragged clothes,

I was in Hell

By Harry

  

Why Poor Slaves of Africa. . .

 Aristocratic Diplomatic

They had no right to claim

The unfortunate slaves from Africa

Captured and held as gain

 

Deprived of life on their homeland

Taken and beaten about

Forced on to a foreigners ship

With screams and tormenting no doubt

 

Sailing on a ship

For an everlasting while

The blinding sunlight they have not seen for months

Shimmers down and everything seems less vile

 

Reaching land and greeted with vicious stares

White people glare at the black figures with aggression

How they will be treated who knows?

That is a difficult question!

 

 

The Day

Today was the day I had finally saved up enough money to buy my freedom. It all started with my daily routine of washing, cleaning and obviously counting my earnings. Every week I was getting closer and closer to my target. . .but today was the day. I recounted about five times just to make sure I had got it right.

 

As soon as I saw the master in his big house in his big office through his big window I knew I was out of here. I ran faster than my legs could carry me over to his house. I have never been so close. It was an over whelming sight. The entrance was decorated with pillars that stretched as high as they eye could see. I knocked on the big white door with all the courage I had and hit the door twice with my bruised knuckles.

 

The gigantic door swung open and a tired black woman was just behind it. I’m not going to lie, this was a bit of a surprise to me, as I had never seen this woman before, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that I need to see the master. I told her everything I wanted which to be fair wasn’t very much.

 

I have to say I was a bit worried that she would say I couldn’t come in as I have only seen two people who have bought their freedom before, so I didn’t know what to expect.

 

She let me in after what felt like a really long time. She said something but I didn’t quite catch it. I walked right behind her, almost treading on her heels, up to the masters room, she gestured for me to go in with her arm wide open holding the door for me.

 

I went in and didn’t sit down. I went straight to the masters seat and put the money on his desk. He looked up with no expression on his face and counted the money whilst muttering to himself.

 

He said you may have your freedom. I was so relieved that the girl in me just wanted to jump up and cry. But I didn’t I walked out with a smile on my face and packed my bags. I didn’t have much, just a few bits and pieces. Then I walked out of the gate into the big wide world.

 

I don’t really know what I am going to do now but I am one hundred percent sure that I am going to fight for my people.

 By Jemma

 

I don’t know how to feel

I know it’s wrong, but what can I do?

I can’t imagine how they feel being taken away from their families.

Those horrific wooden ships with layers and layers of bodies,

Bodies which are covered in ruby red blood and shiny yet invisible sweat.

 

The smell of salt and the stench of sweat covering already mangled bodies.

How they cope with the smell, I don’t know.

The thought of colourless odour swarming around me, makes me gag.

I remember the smell of fish.

I just hope the odour isn’t worse for them.

 

I wonder what the sight is like,

Men, women and children.

Struggling to break free of the cast iron shackles holding them in place.

They have to be in pure torture.

 By Darcey

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