Whistle while they work

(So white and the philanthropes)

The Ancient Traffic in Humans as Waste

Just whistle while they work
With whips of leather
just put them in their place.
So hum a patriotic ditty
There’s nothin’ wrong
when there’s a song
to help you set the pace.
And as they pick those bolls
Rape their women, save their souls
Centuries later, when you be woke
Their descendants be all sick and broke
While you on MTV swoon,
you’ll find you’re dancing to that tune.

•  An installation at the Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil, 2019

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..