March 9, 2015
The Elders know and shake your hand,
not afraid to pat you on the shoulder.
This virus, this sickness of mankind,
traditional ways of healing,
revealing your lack of fear.
Cry your tears upon Earth, our Mother.
We have wounded Her,
She is weak and cannot replenish herself.
Change, or be sick like Her.
Now bow your head and pray in their indigenous tongue.
Centuries gone by since those words were spoken.
They speak the truth.
Few speak the language of freedom anymore.
Fewer still hold fast to traditional ceremonies.
Walking in two worlds, and you dance disastrously
with drugs, poverty, and shame.
Embrace a sexual strength like you have never before.
My Sister, my Sister:
It is my prayer, my wish
that you wake from your slumber and learn
a new way, which is old.
My daughters, my daughters:
I say it is time for the change.
You can and must handle it,
together we will
speak it, educate it, teach it, sing it, and cry it
until this new liberation is embedded in us all.
Khafre Kujichagulia Abif, Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmations for People Living With HIV/AIDS (AuthorHouse, August 2013).
|National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day|
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Khafre K. Abif, AIDS activist, has been thriving with HIV for more than 20 years and is a father of two teenage boys. Khafre is the Founder/Executive Director of Cycle for Freedom. Khafre is one of five men in the inaugural class of The HEALTH (Health Executive Approaches to Leadership and Training in HIV) Seminar Program developed by My Brother's Keeper, Inc. He has also served as the Community Co-Chair for the New Jersey HIV Prevention Community Planning Group. As a librarian in his first career, Khafre was the first recipient of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)'s Dr. John C. Tyson Emerging Leader Award. Forthcoming books include Raising Kazembe and Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems and Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS.
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