Poetry Inspiration: The Tradition By Assata Shakur

THE TRA­DI­TION

Carry it on now.
Carry it on.
Carry it on now.
Carry it on.
Carry on the tra­di­tion.

Their were Black People since the child­hood of time
who car­ried it on.
In Ghana and Mali and Tim­buk­tu
We car­ried it on.
Car­ried on the tra­di­tion.

We hid in the bush.
When the slave mas­ters came
hold­ing spear
And when the moment was ripe,
leaped out and lanced the lifeblood
of our would-be mas­ters.
We car­ried it on.

On slave ships,
hurl­ing ourselves into oceans.
Slit­ting the throats of our captors.
We took their whips.
And their ships
Blood flowed in the Atlantic
and it wasn’t all ours.
We car­ried it on.

Fed Mis­sy arsen­ic apple pies.
Stole the axes from the shed.
Went and chopped off master’s head.
We ran. We fought.
We organ­ized a rail­road.
An under­ground.
We car­ried it on.

In news­pa­pers. In meet­ings.
In argu­ments and street fights.
We car­ried it on.

In tales told to chil­dren.
In chants and can­tatas.
In poems and blues songs
and sax­o­phone screams,
We car­ried it on.

In classrooms. In churches.
In courtrooms. In pris­ons.
We car­ried it on.

On soap­boxes and pick­et lines.
Wel­fare lines, unem­ploy­ment
Our lives on the line,
We car­ried it on.

In sit-ins and pray ins
And march ins and die ins,
We car­ried it on.

On cold Mis­souri mid­nights
Pit­ting shot­guns again­st lynch mobs
On burn­ing Brook­lyn streets
Pit­ting rocks again­st rifles,
We car­ried it on.

Again­st water hoses and bull­dogs.
Again­st night­sticks and bul­lets.
Again­st tanks and tear gas.
Needles and nooses.
Bombs and birth con­trol.
We car­ried it on.

In Sel­ma and San Juan.
Mozam­bi­que, Mis­sis­sip­pi.
In Brazil and in Boston,
We car­ried it on.

Through the lies and the sell-outs,
The mis­takes and the mad­ness.
Through pain and hun­ger and frus­tra­tion,
We car­ried it on.

Car­ried on the tra­di­tion.
Car­ried a strong tra­di­tion.
Car­ried a proud tra­di­tion.
Car­ried a Black tra­di­tion.
Carry it on.

Pass it down to the chil­dren.
Pass it down.
Carry it on.
Carry it on now.
Carry it on
TO FREEDOM!

Read more about Assata Shak­ur

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Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra

Edit­or / Research­er at No Bounds
Gata is a music and arts lov­er, stud­ied anthro­po­logy, art man­age­ment and media pro­duc­tion ded­ic­at­ing most of her time to cre­at­ive pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.
Gata Malandra

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About Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra
Gata is a music and arts lover, studied anthropology, art management and media production dedicating most of her time to creative projects produced by No Bounds.

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