Black History Month – Proud To Be

Walsall-based poet Peace has written and performed a 'Proud to Be' poem exclusively for Walsall for All as part of this year's Black History Month celebrations.

Poem transcript:

Each year throughout this month we celebrate
Embracing each with pride and dignity
The very wonder of Black History
And this in unity we’ll contemplate.

From north to south,
from east to west we rise,
To share appraise across the British Isles,
A journey which immeasurable in miles
Remains in truth – incalculable in size.

A journey one could trace across the ages
That leads us from, some say, the dawn of time,
To heights beyond the highest mountain climb.
A story that could fill a billion pages.

With what allure are we drawn to this place?
Forgotten not — the souls of yesteryear
Because without them who would find us here
Affirming now their worthiness of praise?

Those doctors, lawyers, authors of invention,
Those kings and queens, wise elders of the state,
Those farmers, teachers, masters of debate,
Whose trials we shall for goodness sake here mention.

Those hands that formed traditional cuisine,
Which pleasures to this day our appetites.
That turned the key to unlock the delights
Of okra, callaloo and kidney bean.

Those parents who would sacrifice with grace
The joy that comes with watching offspring grow
Subduing each their pain at least to know
Their love secured for us a better place.

And with this let us sing we’re proud to be
Ascendants of the precious seed of life
Emergent through the vestibule of strife
That oftentimes can hinder company.

As leaves upon a vast and mighty tree
Well worthy of our place in humankind
With each year, at this time we shall remind
Of who and why and what we’re proud to be.