“The Igbu Landing

The Igbu Landing

Denial came as it still tends to do.
“It’s only a legend”, shouted the well-to-do.
In his time or now, he was no legend however,
Roswell King, the white overseer.
His ink had mastered a horrifying account;
Not far away, but from a plantation nearby.
Pierce Butler was the name of the God-forsaken place
Where the white overseer once again put history to shame.
Those died in mass suicide were given not one single name.

© hülya n. yılmaz, March 15, 2019

This poem has been published by Inner Child Press International in the April 2019 issue of The Year of the Poet VI.

* An excerpt from the source, Igbo Landing Mass Suicide: “While many historians for centuries have cast doubt on the Igbo Landing mass suicide, suggesting that the entire incident was more legend than fact, the accounts Roswell King and others provided at the time were verified by post-1980 research which used modern scientific techniques to reconstruct the episode and confirm the factual basis of the longstanding oral accounts.

In September 2002, the St. Simons African American community organized a two-day commemoration with events related to Igbo history and a procession to the site of the mass suicide. Seventy-five attendees came from different states across the United States, as well Nigeria, Brazil, and Haiti. The attendees designated the site as a holy ground and called for the souls to be permanently at rest. The Igbo Landing is now part of the curriculum for coastal Georgia schools.”

 

4 Comments

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4 responses to ““The Igbu Landing

  1. I echo Abdur-Rasheed’s reflection, on Hülya’s ‘The Igbu Landing’, which says it all, as to the ongoing historic evil inhuman cruelty of man. To refer to these creatures with the term of reference, said man, is in fact a sad admission to the level humanity has stooped, in not ridding our world of this disease we still call man.

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    • My dearest Jean-Jacques: I thank you for your valuable insight and comment. Forgive me for repeating my reply to my esteemed brother, Shareef Abdur-Rasheed, when I say the following: I have added a related excerpt from a source under my poem, a factual reference to shed a much-needed light onto the utter darkness of the times past and present. So many of us easily celebrate “Memorial Day”, not knowing what lies behind that commemoration. How I agree with you in your terming of the related ‘cruelties’ when the corresponding history is concerned. “Memorial Day” = A time to celebrate? Most certainly not! A moment of silence in the honor of all those tortured souls who have been historically accounted for as far as their joint suicide – to attain freedom.

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  2. Shareef Abdur-Rasheed

    The Igbu Landing: Tight, compact powerful. Created for me a visual and a enviorment that constituted a time of gross inhumanity that was so shameful and barbaric that to this day slavery,the slave trade it’s period has never been remotely even attempted to begin to be rectified or even marginally attoned for. Maybe to be almost ridiculous it’s degree of savagery was so severe what can right such a immense wrong that to this day 154 years later it was alleged to be abolished still has a severe ripple effect.This piece for me put me there as a ghost, a spirit observer,fly on the wall. Bravo and thank you dear artist Hulya.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, I want to thank you for letting me know the impact of my poem on you, my esteemed brother Shareef. Then, I want to repeat my thanks to you for your much-telling commentary on this historically profound fact, one with which we are still faced day in, day out, when “savagery” is concerned. After reading your comment, I have added a related excerpt from a source under my poem, a factual reference to shed a much-needed light onto the utter darkness of the times past and present. So many of us easily celebrate “Memorial Day”, not knowing what lies behind that commemoration.

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