Bent Not Broken by the Shadows of History

By Ayo Sekai, Ph.D.

The tides of history have had many shifts
Tornadoes of social movements sweeping through nations
Causing rifts of pain, political uprisings and pandemics of disdain
taking with it not just what we wish would change, but those that we wish would stay the same
The storms have been heavy when there is too much water causing floods of pain
and then there are times of drought, when the hunger for human connection, and community, is stronger than the pangs of individualism and selfishness
We have survived the overcast forecasts of uncertainty
Shuffled through threatening thunderstorms
And hidden in the dark from conduits of hate as emotions rise high, unexpected like dangerous lightning strikes

There are moments when we are uprooted
Pillers of community fallen like great Baobab trees
Strange sounds
Echoes of bewilderment calling for reassurance when the roofs have been ripped away
Exposure of vulnerability making us run even when we have nowhere to go
When we must stay

Then we are reminded of the many storms we have weathered
Knowing the tide eventually ebbs
Fruits of courage grow in the youth as lived experiences provide wisdom
Griots rise up to tell the tales of old so our leaders are teachers, they mother the young
activists live on the fringes of gullies
as Writers and scholars chronicles the stories
On the pages of history as the narratives are told we know we are stronger when our roots can still grow
Never unscathed through the torture of time
Even when it seems the worst is constantly left on play
On rewind
But the sun eventually shines
The stars they never disappoint
As the winds of winter is inevitable
We are warmed by the promise of summer

Like Blades of grass, plucked from the earth fragile and squashed
fallen when alone
But there is strength in numbers don’t be afraid come home

Not broken
Just bent
We stand to tell the tale through history
Stronger against the tide
Love culture and community
No mystery
Just Our Story!

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Ayo Sekai, PhD.

Dr. Sekai is a Political Science Ph.D. Howard University alum, a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, YALE- Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and a published author. She is a Poetical Scientist and Linguistic Activist. You can find her work on YouTube and her website at In her book, Afrocentric Before Afrocentricity (2016), renowned philosopher Molefi Kete Asante counted Ayo among the great Griots and “royal panoply which includes Haki Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, Mari Evans, Sonya Sanchez, and Langston Hughes” (Sekai & Rosier, 2016).

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