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Praise Poem - Dedicated to Usain Bolt and all Black Athletes

"I was inspired to write after the Stirling performance by Usain Bolt and other black athletes last year. Coincidentally I did most of the work on my birthday. Have not given it much publicity since then except to show it to a few friends," Michael Dedey.

Have I No Glory

Dedicate to Usain Bolt and all Black Athletes.

You cannot miss me

Melanin in my skin makes it impermeable to light

At night my teeth give me away

My ancestors built the pyramids

I have survived the slave raiders

I survived the long voyages in bondage, darkness and pain

I have survived the greatest holocaust in human history

But the world denies me

The world denies me glory

My shame, their quilt, is wished away.

The holocaust of the 6,000,000 is more enduring than the holocaust of 60,000,000

Yesterday I was shamefully bound and forced to leave Africa without a visa

Today, I shamelessly flee Africa unbound but have to pay for a visa

After apartheid I was encouraged to forgive and forget

I was encouraged to form a RAINBOW nation while Nazi war criminals are still pursued

My land and its resources nourish and enrich the world but I remain poor

The world; East, West, North and South gang up against me and I see it

But my leaders say otherwise

My leaders sit, dine and wine with my oppressors

My leaders connive, steal, cheat and oppress me

My leaders have become my oppressor

My spirit is low

I have learnt to survive, my spirit is lifted with voices from the past

Marcus Garvey

Malcolm X

Martin Luther King Jr.

Steve Biko

Amilcar Gabral

Kwame Nkrumah

Bob Marley


Are all my heroes dead?

Mandela’s resilience and Obama’s achievement gives me hope

It tells me, ‘Yes We Can’

Today I saw a Bolt of lightning

As if to re-assure me, it flashed 100 times

Then it flashed 200 times

I smiled for that Bolt of lightning shook Hitler in his grave

That Bolt of lightning made Jesse Owens smile

Subsequent bolts were all of my kind

Impervious to light, strengthened by years of hard labour

Emboldened by years of discrimination

Run, my brethren, run

In this race, there can be no doubt, who the victor is

Maybe some DNA test will prove that you are not one of us

Until then, I say, run like no bodies business

Bolt like thunder and flash like lightening

For in you, I see my glory today.


Kosi Dedey

(13th September 2009)

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