I first read Zong 1781 at my Songs of My Soul poetry book launch on October 25. I’m beginning to love history! Not just black history – all history. The entanglement of people as they migrate across the planet – their wars, their stories, their monuments, statements of wealth, places of worship. I’m endlessly fascinated in the what, why and where of the places I visit. It’s endlessly stimulating for my poetic mind.
I have just finished reading David Olusoga’s Black & British which can only be described as astounding. It races through history, TARDIS-like from the early tudors and stuarts, extends a visit to the Victorians and Edwardians, landing in the current day. He blows a hole in the Windrush myth, i.e. that the black presence in Britain began when the ship of the same name docked at Tilbury. He provides colourful and detailed evidence about the role that black people played on the world stage through times of slavery, colonialism the commonwealth and both world wars through considerable difficulties and many triumphs.
My personal quest for knowledge is like a deep-rooted tree seeking both sunlight and water. I have started to read multiple books simultaneously – the more I read, the more I write!
What do you think of the poem? Do you love history too, especially if like me, you used to dislike it at school!