You Don't Even Know Makendal (P. Sylvain, Jr.)

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Ezili Danto
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

You Don't Even Know Makendal (P. Sylvain, Jr.)

Post by Ezili Danto » Fri May 19, 2006 1:41 pm

Onè la sosyete;

Perhaps this poem (submitted by a Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network member, in Answer to our Call that people worldwide wear the blue and red colors on Flag Day to stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti) could help further the dialogue on why certain teenagers wear the flag or red and blue colors and remember Haiti only on Flag Day.
(See Answer The Call: (Kreyol and English links below) Repon-n Apèl La: Ede Pwoteje vot 7 Fevriye 2006 la kote tout Ayisyen tal vote ; ... yolres2006 )

Do they know their history? What are Haitian adults teaching their children about Haiti? The poet covers some of these questions. I remember when Malcom X's ("education is everything" and liberty by "any means necessary") t-shirts and the green and red colors were a fad. That was right before the pop mtv and hip hop culture hedonistic moto became "get rich or die".

Ezili Danto

5/18/2006...the struggle continues. You wear the flag on your head, I wear mine in my heart. I am Haitian not only because I was born in Haiti, but because Haiti was born in me. -Makendal from You Don't Even Know Me.....

You Don't Even Know Makendal (P. Sylvain, Jr.), Haitian Perspectives, May 18, 2006 ... roons.html

You Don't Even Know Makendal (P.Sylvain Jr.), Haitian Perspectives, May 18, 2006

You talk about me like you know me,
and I even heard you say to someone that you love me
but my name and your professed love comes out of your mouth only rarely,
so please, do me a favor and spare me.

Spare me your love when it is filled with lies,
today you carry me in your heart and tomorrow it's goodbye
as I'm relegated to some dark corner and never thought of again,
you don't love me so please don't pretend.

How can you say that you love me
when you've put others above me,
pledging your love to them under God,
I find it impossible and very hard
to believe a word that you say,
when I only hear from you on my birthday.

I'm tired of how you mistreat me,
especially when you discretely
tell others that you don't even know me,
never ever even met me...
is that what you mean when you say that you love me?

You never told your children about who I am,
and now, your children, my children, just don't give a damn.
They don't care about my love or my pain,
you've raised them to act like Abel and Cain
and they look at me with fake admiration and pure disdain.

I remember when I was loved and respected,
I remember that if anyone tried to hurt me, I was protected
my presence around the world was reflected,
now my worth is misdirected
and improperly misguided
and divided,
if I was one day surgically dissected,
they'd find tumors in various areas of my heart,
but you, you still wouldn't be able to name my body parts,
or understand me and my sweet definition,
the beauty of my structure,

you call yourself a lover?

I wish you really loved me
and I wish you really knew me
for I am as beautiful, if not more beautiful then your new lover,
only I was able to make you discover
the beauty of natural love and fulfilling emotion,
now I'm some sized down unappreciated token
that you talk about once, maybe twice
but now you won't even climb the highest mountain
or swim the deepest ocean
when once you would have died for me,
I remember how you used to cry for me,
exposed your love for me on bended knee,
whether you were poor, middle class or bourgeoisie
even on my birthdays you don't remember me,

Me!!!! Ton premièr amour, ton amour d'enfance,
votre drapeau d'Ayiti, jounen jodi-a mwen kanpe en kwa nan mitan tout lari,
map tann tout neg ak fanm sou bitasyon dizwisankat pou le peyi ak pou la patri!

I have to ask you one more time, is today the only day that you can tell me that you love me?

Wrapping me on your head, turning me into a skirt,
sometimes it publicly really hurts
when foreigners ask you what it is I symbolize
what is it that I epitomize
and all you can do is improvise
definitions of what my cannon balls and palm trees are
I am the epitome of the first freedom and liberty kiss,
can you tell what the cap on top of my palm tree is?

Men have wrapped themselves with me,
yelled and screamed, fought for liberty,
died with me valiantly
women and men have battled for me
The Oath of The Ancestors was birthed by me!
Marie Jeanne, Hyacinthe, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion stood bold for me!
and when Germans, French and Americans had the nerve to come and bring disrespect to me,
Laporte, Rochembeau, Peralte, Batraville, Killick and Dr. Coles DEFENDED ME, sunk battleships for me,
don't you know my history?

19 years of occupation but the Cacos never lost sight of me,
even when I was hidden publicly, they brandished me proudly,
they didn't wear me just to go to parties and festivities,
from Arcayè, Gonayiv, and the hills of Au Cap
they never ever let me, their Haitian flag drop!

But now, you don't even know me,
I only see you and feel you when you wear me
every May 18th and declare me
your pride and love just for one day
and what brings me to even deeper seething anger
is that you don't know my anthem, but you know the star bangled banner.

You may wear me and raise me,
you may headwrap me and wave me,
rear view mirror, license plate or tattoo me,
buy me or sell me,
copy and paste me,
on your websites place me
non-profit me to profit from me prolifically

but I don't think, that you truly really know me,
your Haitian flag.

©2006. All Rights Reserved. Prosper "Makendal" Sylvain,
Maroon Poet

5/18/2006...the struggle continues. You wear the flag on your head, I wear mine in my heart. I am Haitian not only because I was born in Haiti, but because Haiti was born in me. -Makendal

Photo:www.THEMAROONS.NET © 2006 ... roons.html

In commemoration of all those who died so that our nation could have its own flag. In commemoration of Cartherine Flon, said to be the women who sewed our flag. In commemoration for those who fought valiantly, raised this flag and fought for liberty. In honor of the original “Give me liberty or give me death” and in homage for the original “by any means necessary.” For Marie Jeanne, Jeannot, Christope, Petion, Boyer, Capois La Mort, Rochembeau and for the great Toussaint Louverture, Boukman, Makendal and many others who did not get to see 1803 and 1804, but knew that they were fighting because there WOULD BE an 1803 and 1804 where St. Domingue would become HAITI, the first free black nation. Nou pap janm bliye nou!

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