where my ancestors were killed i am sadened where my ancestors died i am enlightened where my ancestors lie i am empowered and to explain my mission this is about my ancestors, abused and martyred now at rest in the atlantic ocean. In the breaking waves I hear whispers, whispers of my ancestors. When I listen they tell me stories. Stories of kings and heroes, empires and Gods. Stories of Kemet and Kush and ancient Ethiopia. They tell me stories of the guerrilla warrior queen, Nzinga of Angola, on the battle front well past sixty, taking no subordination from the Portuguese army. They tell child’s tales of Anansi in rhythmic voice over congo, bongo and djembe 'bum ba ta tum tum bum ba ta tum tum' and I can almost feel the crackling, flickering fire that illuminates the griots face as he tells his tales with rhythmic pace. 'bum ba ta tum tum bum ba ta tum tum' and though perched on a shore of the Caribbean sea Afrika is a part of me, deeply, consciously, spiritually, eternally. Morbid though it be, it holds a certain comfort for me knowing that I am never alone by the Atlantic sea. The rhythm of the breaking waves beat like talking drum and djembe, awaking that ancient future deep within my recessed Afrikan memory and set ablaze my conscience like a raging bush fire. Whispers turn to screams, the ancestors cry out, Afrika cries out, her children stolen her womb left barren Stolen in the night. Stolen in the fight. Stolen by rivals, stolen by brothers working under white man’s orders themselves trying not to be taken not to be stolen. Hands bound behind our backs connected in a human train by ropes around our necks physically bruised and pride in pain. There is no hope for return pass the point of no return,* scarcely fed, beaten and tossed around that is the treatment in a slave fort while stored in darkness underground. we tried to resist by fight and by song but more torture would come to keep us down but storage in slave forts would not last long. We were taken through the back door and persuaded to shore by guns and whips to be crammed and packed into slave ships. Shackles on our feet, stored shoulder to shoulder to shoulder. Urine and faeces around us as we sleep, people got sick then sicker and sicker. They took us topside for an hour each week but we got no better, no better, no better. The sick got worse, the life force got weak, so we became few then fewer and fewer. Some of us scared and some of us brave, took our bodies, shackled and chained, and jumped overboard among the swells and the waves to die a martyr at sea but to never live a slave. in the breaking waves i hear whispers whispers of my ancestors "look for me" "remember me" "respect me" ("we are the brave who jumped to the deep. we are the souls of the weak who died on board and were tossed to Davie's Keep. we were martyrs and examples and now you will see, why we are your comfort, your power, your spirit by the sea.") Now some of you may think it is in my head because you do not know about spiritual continuity. To you my ancestors are dead, but oh no, there is more, my ancestors are stored in me, ancestral knowledge and power make up my core, it flows through my blood and as if carved and honed, it is written across my bone and when the waves break my ears become a Rosetta stone translating what was hidden and internal, into language - silently audible, tuning me into knowledge ancestral, spiritual power eternal. Selah. *point of no return is a reference to the front doors of the slave forts along the West Afrikan coast, pass which there was literally no return for captured Afrikans. Once in the fort Afrikans would be stored underground until they were to be transported to the Americas and Europe at which point they would be carried through the back door and loaded on to the slave and merchant vessels.