are we not all


as I stand at a point
on the Slave Trail
where another
historical maker
was located
I see
the Shockoe Bottom
area of Richmond
on the other side
of the James River
if your eye follows
the line of the I-95 bridge
right over the tip of
Mayo Island
~   you arrive at a place
in the city
that the slaves
were once taken
to be sold
whipped at the market   ~
put in Lumpkin’s Jail   ~
hung from the gallows
and buried
in the Upper Shockoe Valley
later to be called
the African Ancestral
Burial Ground

now on this marker
there is
a historic emblem
with the inscription

powerful words
that did challenge
the very fabric
of slavery in America
~   quoting the English potter
Josiah Wedgwood …..

…..   words that made
my mind swiftly flow
like the current
back down the river
towards the Chesapeake Bay
~   my memory
calmly running into
the Elizabeth River
then the Albemarle
and Chesapeake Canal
the spot
this artist
took a snapshot
of his muse and hero
~    while she was taking
a snapshot
of this place
with a canal lock
next to the Great Bridge
where a battle happened
in 1775
and the marker
eludes to the enslaved
that participated there
the Ethiopian regiment
(not really Ethiopian
but African Americans)
~   who were offered freedom
by the British
for their loyalty
if they fought against
the “colonial rebels”
who were fighting for
the land of the free
oh how
my thoughts overflow
with the irony
of the situation ….

the land of the free
indeed …..  is the right ideal
to bring to fruition
of the color of our skin
sisters and brothers
women and men
co-existing together
spiritually and physically
interconnected by the symbolic
waters of life
whether by sea or river
~   are we not all
a part of
I ask …..
while standing
in remembrance of the past
at this historical marker
along the Slave Trail

peace out

Image & Words by    ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

This Image with Words will be a part of my Slavery in America Image with Words Collection now exhibited in The Urban Individualist Artist Collective, Gallery #219 at Art Works In Richmond, VA.

All Words & Images Copyright © 1999-2021 - Keith Alan Hamilton - All rights reserved.