If the Devil calls,
sing powerful thoughts: a love
that composes hope.
Inscribe celestial paths,
showing the way to freedom.
For Black History Month, the Borough President’s office is hosting an exhibit of quilts by members of the New York Quilters of Color Network. Some of the quilts incorporate patterns used as codes for travelers on the Underground Railroad. Seeing the North Star pattern reminded me of the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”–the drinking gourd being the dipper, home of Polaris, the North Star.
The North Star here is surrounded by another coded quilt pattern, the Wagon Wheel. The words are from the secret keeper and Colleen’s tanka challenge this week.
The Fifth Fact
By Sarah Browning
For Ben’s project he must research five facts
about his African-American hero and write them
on posterboard. He chooses Harriet Tubman,
whose five facts are: Her father’s name was Ben.
Her mother’s name was Old Rit. She was born
in 1820 and died in 1913. She was born in Maryland
and died in New York. Ben asks for advice
about his fifth fact and I suggest: She led more than
300 people to freedom. Ben sighs the way he does
now and says, Everyone knows that, Mom.
You can read the rest of Sarah Browning’s wonderful poem here
If only, Ben. If only everyone knew their history.