Prison Radio
Joadanus Olivas

Joadanus Olivas. I call this “How?” for Juneteenth.

“I’m sorry master, sir, I be’s a good boy, I’s work hard on this plantation for you, boss.” I wonder if any of my ancestors sank to being, being submissive in fear of another human, who played the role of sire, or master, the superior, or supreme being; did my grandfathers submit without a fight? How was our warriors mentally broken and spiritually killed on a mass scale? Did my grandmothers expect our men to save them from our captors? Were my grandmothers disappointed?

Rumor is none of the Zulus of South Africa ever were ever captured and enslaved. They wouldn’t be taken alive. I wonder which tribe I’m from? Were we inferior or less intelligent? I daydream and picture 400 years ago: West Africa, the Bight of Benin, the slave club or reception center. Ship mounts tower high with an awful smell. A bunch of screams in agony.

Why didn’t I rebel? Did I fear the guns outpowering my spear? Why didn’t I just jump overboard, and my corpse eaten by sharks who now follow these new slave ships changing their millions of years usual migration routes, because of the millions of corpses thrown overboard? I don’t understand my powerlessness. I came from Kings and Queens. I went to the Sankore Institute in Timbuktu. I built pyramids. I’m from the chosen people. How did I get a base so low, huh? How?

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.