The Mother Ode’
You think I forgot?
Well, I think not!
From the Pyramids to the plantation,
Through the sharecropping and segregation.
To the Ole’ Earth from her seed
Yes, indeed you carried me.
In Africa I rode your back
On the plantation a potato sack.
Whatever the case you held me tight.
Kept me close those winter nights. (whisper)
Matriarchs and Mothers and Queens and Nannies.
Big Mamas and Dear Mamas, Geronimos and grannies.
Healers of sickness who addressed the business.
Wasn’t no need for traveling, homemade healthcare!
From common colds, to frequent flus to champion of childbearin’.
Continuously connected through this cold hard system.
When my cries were denied you were the only one listening.
I didn’t play no dissin’ Mama when playing the dozens
For it wouldn’t be no me if she wouldn’t of gave Daddy no lovin’
Through the hard times and struggles, discomforts and pains.
The cold nights, beans and rice, mayo jars with kool-aid.
Yeah, I did my share of stupid stunts, fuck ups and cutting up in the class
You showed TOUGH LOVE and had no hang ups about tapping that ass.
And with those high times we had in my mind remains
First days of school and surprise birthdays.
They’ve been trying to divide us in hectic times throughout the history
From masta’ selling me off ‘till today with Baby ‘T’.
You’ve produced pyramids, taught tribes and gave names to Nations.
You are not only my mother but the Mother of Civilization.
Those are your children in Kenya and the descendants in Dominican.
You’ve breast fed me in Botswana. And kept me clothed in Ghana.
Whenever they beat me down, you told me “Son stand up!”
You said all men fall down but great Men get up.
When they came and framed me, and placed me behind these walls.
You knew the business, prison visits and collect phone calls.
From the womb to the tomb, from the belly to the grave.
Through four inch glass, prison blues and shackles and chains.
I love you dearly, miss you really.
And that ain’t never gon’ change.
©May 14, 1998 Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.
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