In Memory of Those Who Chose the Sea

Written by Ashley Parks


Today I extend my respect and all honor

to Those Who Chose the Sea.

Those who would not part with the Motherland

Those determined to be free.

They refused to be taken into bondage

They knew their God-given right

To live among their own, untouched and unbothered

They would succumb to no greater might

Than the hand of God Himself

Or unto their own hands, which He gave

To them their own free will and choice

A gift they rightfully used to their full extent.

A sacrifice unimaginable

A sense of self-worth uninhibited

Unfettered by shackles of any sort

Determined to live, infinite

They chose life together beneath the waves

They stand together in solidarity.

Their strength something worthy to be praised

Their children, their spouses, ancestors to you and me

Black brother, black sister

Do you see what I see?

The gathering of titanium souls

Standing placidly in the sand

At the bottom of the ocean

To which they ran

A safe haven only they could see.

They gather, hands interlocking

And their song bubbles to the earth’s surface

As they sway with the rolling waves, the changing tides

And breathe in the sea life’s air

A cornucopia of black bodies

All bobbing beneath placid blue.

To think that someone They left behind

Is linked to me or to you.

What honor to come from resilience

What an honor to come from such strength

I join my voice with their liquid song

Choosing self, again and again.

I will be beholden to no man other than myself.

I am responsible for me, my life, my wealth

I would rather live beneath the water with my own

Than bow to some selfish white man’s throne.