Relentless River

Transitional Education and Consulting Services

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I am a river fed by tributaries of diverse origins, Langston’s rivers –

The flow of genius that built civilization and the pyramids before depositing its wisdom in a Greek delta;

The river of pre-Columbian Africans streaming across the Atlantic and feeding a continent that had not yet discovered Europeans;

The Moorish flood that soaked a darkened Europe; cleansing ignorance and washing it with renewal – they called it the Renaissance;

The river of "Black Gold" diverted from humanity’s cradle and dammed by centuries of subjugation merged with blood from the massacre of noble native streams, swept along by lies and broken promises until only the names and legends remained;

My channels overflowed with sweat from the pulling, plowing, and planting that propped up a new nation; and I weathered the high tide of tears from the inhumanity of being raped while others reaped;

And still, I surged with courage in the face of challenge, irrigating deserts of despair, and filling wells of hope and accomplishment.

I am the tumultuous rapids formed by the confluence of an oppressed river with eddies emanating from the source of the oppression – calmed only by the outpour from the pristine lake of the Holy Spirit.

Whether a trickle or torrent I am a relentless river – running wide, running deep but always running – eroding rock, carving canyons and incapable of being ignored.

No matter how many streams may swell my banks I remain an African river capable of directing my own course.

When swollen by the torrential rains of an African consciousness convergent with currents of unity and direct action I rage with irresistible force,

But just around the bend I’m an easy river, a soulful river, reflecting on the countless streams that gave me life.

I am the river that transports the silt of this collective experience to a fertile delta, enriching humanity before being swept into God’s sea.

                                                                                                                Terrence L. Freeman 2000

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