Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Likenesses of Slave-Owners"

Thinking of, among other things, the capital
generated by slaves, I guess it's grossly
appropriate that likenesses of slave-owners
appear on U.S. money. I also guess
that for a majority, it's offensive
to make the connection and, making it,
to mention it. I see the eyes roll
and sense the bile rising. I hear
the naked emperor's entourage
rushing to defend the founding
wardrobe: Valley Forge
and the Declaration are hanging
in the closet, they assert.
Get over it, they advise.
Well, anyway, the printed faces
of slave-owners lie, tenderly
and legal, in my wallet, and
that is how it is.


hans ostrom 2015









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