NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 155

By COLIN CHANNER FIRST RECRUITS They answered when the Queen called, wanting constables, dependables, regulars to keep order after riot rumbled to rebellion back in 1865. the year impatience with the free we’d got came out in uprush. Thirty years nearly after slavery and the liberty half cooked. They’re kin to my mother’s hill people. Tea dark. Strong featured. Hair that gets comb teeth caught up. Turning on a rush mat, a coir mattress, lighting a lamp in a tatu cotched on land with no title, catching water, dabbing on a little obeah, dressing in the fashion of the humble decent – careful not to rip, stretch out, alert for wrinkles, palming down the seams. Of those who came nine hundred plus were taken. Sharp eyes, big hearts, backs with plenty meat between the blades, feet arched. 153 Walking proudly. Traitors falling into place. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE Their minds were rank with the killings when they went to sign up. They imagined a hint of burnt wood, remembered an odor of rot although History had been clever with the evidence, had left the dead outside to menace, later ganged up scared survivors into throngs, quick and efficient out of habit, frugal by rote. Not a single finger more assigned than what backra thought it ought to take for wogs to scoop and chuck and barrow blood and neighbours into pits. 003-Main-Content.indd 153 3/30/15 9:50 AM