400 Years of Servitude


Poet Oumar Farouk Sesay’s latest collection of poems titled, ‘400 years of servitude’ is a superb reflection on race relations. Poem after poem, the poet mourns the dehumanisation of man through slavery and shares an exile’s pain ofseparation. He mourns with victims of genocide and serves as a dissenting mouthpiece against racial inequality. Wherever men haggle over slaves at an auction block; deny humans their fundamental rights; and, wherever wreaths adorn tombs; be it at a farewell prayer or in the observance of a minute silence for lives claimed by ethnic cleansing for lives claimed by ethnic cleansing, this poet is there.

His cry of universal pain starts from Eden to the mass graves of classical Greece; from the cane-fields of Missouri across the blood spills of the Atlantic; be it on a tour of the dungeons of Goree or at Bunce island; in a nursing home, or a New York subway; in a political speech or; be it in a newspaper caption or an excerpt from books; from quotes of writers or a TV subtext, or in a political campaign or song; this poet cries for humanity’s failure to accept his black children at the tableof brotherhood.
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There are songs of triumph over adversity as in, ‘The woman who danced’ and ‘I’m a man,’ both poems do pay homage to the resilience of the black race despite some ‘four hundred years of servitude.’Oumar Farouk Sesay is a Sierra Leonean poet, playwright, and novelist. He works in the private sector, and he is currently the President of PEN, Sierra Leone chapter. His poem, “Song of the Women of my Land,” is on the Literature-in English syllabus for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

400 Years Of Servitude is his fifth collection of poems.“Suffering and injustice provide the oxygen or fertilizer for Sesay’s verses. They become the catalyst that spur him to compose poignant and beautiful poems. The poems in this collection are written to prick the consciences of all thosewho victimize others not only because of race, but also because of class, sex, etc. He sponges the four-hundred-year-old horror of slavery and welds it with the agony of racism and victimization with all their ramifications into a colossal picture of pain and suffering that seems to have no end”.Elizabeth L.A. KamaraLecturer, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra LeoneAuthor of To Cross for a Daughter and Other Poems

Product details

  • Item Weight : 5.1 ounces
  • Paperback : 104 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 979-8669565909
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.26 x 8.5 inches
  • Publisher : Independently published (August 8, 2020)
  • Language: : English
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