So I set up an encounter with the Angry Black Man and I thought it would be best if we met in a public place, for you cannot trust anyone these days, not even yourself. The meeting took place at our local shopping mall near the food court. We both arrived around the same time. The encounter was not as I expected. I envisioned a monster, an uncontrollable force of rage, the beast that was never associated with beauty, but I was wrong. As he walked towards the table I could see a faint resemblance, but he was a shell of a man, he had the look of a man who once was. He looked tired and beaten as he approached, it was if I could hear the sounds of a thousand dragging chains as he reached the table. I helped him with his chair, and to my surprise he spoke. In a low and defeated voice he said, “Do not talk, just listen! I have seen and I have been. I have been lynched, castrated, beheaded, whipped, shot, mutilated, branded, imprisoned, stoned, drowned, and sodomized. I have worked sunup to sundown, six and sometimes seven days a week until my death. My wife and daughter were raped in front of me, and I in front of them, and I have witnessed thousands since. I have worn shackles that have penetrated the bone. I have worn neck collars with spikes that protrude outwardly that prevented me from getting any rest after a long days work.” There was a pause, and he inhaled deeply as if it was his last breath, and he continued. “I have drowned deep in the bowels of slave ships. I have had my legs broken so I could not run away. I have been nutrition for swine. I have been forced to engage in homosexual activities with other slaves. I have been hunted for sport. I have been hung on trees for decoration. I have been, and I have seen. I have been with you since the beginning, when you cried as a baby it was I that got you fed. When they said that you couldn’t, it was I that screamed you could. When that monkey was on your back, it was I that got him off.” “Can I speak now?” He looked at me as if he was having a flashback of some kind, but he just didn’t have the strength, so he grumbled in a low, deep, and penetrating voice, “GO ON.” So you are telling me that all those bad situations I was in during my life span, it was you?” “I have seen, and I have been. I have watched you grow and evolve, I have seen you fall, but I have also seen you rise. I have been with you since the beginning, I know your heart, I know your intentions, I know you! We can live together without conflict, but “I AM ANGER, you must lead, and I must follow.” As he rose from the table I could see a change in him, there was a small spark in his eyes, the paleness in his skin was now flushed with color. As he stood tall and proud he began to speak, “I HAVE SEEN AND I HAVE BEEN, BUT TOGETHER, WE SHALL OVERCOME!




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