Africadian Petition (1783)
Blue (Vancouver: Polestar Book Publishers, 2001): 14.
2The times act not as it Were.
4We's Dis Gusted by govvermint,
6 We be hauling Hardships long as pines --
7All White whips which you Putting
8to us here Since we be breathing
9And Luvving. Goddam lashings harp
10our Crimsoning hirt.
11 Your Onnour verry well knose
12wheather Ragerlations shell change,
13shift, for our Sattersfaction.
14You forgit us, so we be Nothing --
15Like rain, Sobbing over water.
16 Is there any Nourishmen,
17such as Oat meal Molassis
19a Littl Wine and Speerits
20to Heet our Harts?
21 Is there Sum Sope
22to scour up
23your Cownsil's muddying Lyes?
1] In 1783 some 3,000 African Americans sailed from New York to Nova Scotia, where the British had promised them freedom, but they arrived in a colony that tolerated slavery in Loyalists immigrating from the States and that discriminated against free black settlers: little or no land grants, meagre wages, and harrassments. See: Nova Scotia Archives . The poem alludes especially to the witholding of provisions, and to anti-black bylaws, practised by the local government. Back to Line
3] Nofaskosha: Nova Scotia. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors:
<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of George Elliott Clarke or the Polestar Book permissions department.</b>