Soooo… this popped up in my Facebook feed tonight and to say I was moved by it would be an understatement. Chills for sure. It’s incredibly powerful and beautiful, sad and true. It needs to be known, acknowledged, and shared.
“You were afraid to nurse your young
lest fallen breast offend your master’s sight
and he should flee to firmer loveliness.
And so you passed them, your children, on to me.
Flesh that was your flesh and blood that was your blood
drank the sustenance of life from me.
And as I gave suckle I knew I nursed my own child’s enemy.
I could have lied,
told you your child was fed till it was dead of hunger.
But I could not find the heart to kill orphaned innocence.
For as it fed, it smiled and burped and gurgled with content
and as for color knew no difference.
Yes, in that first while
I kept your sons and daughters alive.
But when they grew strong in blood and bone
that was of my milk
taught them to hate me.
Put your decay in their hearts and upon their lips
so that strength that was of myself
turned and spat upon me,
despoiled my daughters, and killed my sons.
You know I speak true.“
(Beah Richards, excerpt from “A Black Woman Speaks of White Womanhood”)
Brenda Koro’s photo
If you are similarly moved by this image and heartbreaking history, please consider supporting Afrykayn Moon’s documentary fundraiser to bring this history to light. She is a powerful force in the breastfeeding activist community.