The first chapter of Carolivia Herron’s critical work in progress, African American Epic Tradition, was published in the journal, Rooms.
In 2012, I wrote the song lyrics for “We Are Free” included in a Cantata by Bruce Adolphe, Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society, composed for the 90th anniversary of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. It premiered at the University of Michigan, November 18, 2012.
Listen to Bruce discuss the cantata, click here.
To learn more about Bruce, click here.
The lyrics of “We Are Free” are taken from the last chapter of my recently completed novel, Asenath and Our Song of Songs.
We were caught. We were stolen. We were broken. We were murdered. We were slaves. We came to ourselves. We ran for our lives. We headed for the hills. We stood up and lived. We organized our defense. We broke loose. We endured the enslavers no longer. We proclaimed our selfhood. We destroyed the chains of our oppressors. We threw off the bigots, the racists, the evil ones. We rose up. We revolted. We chased off the victimizers, the invaders, the thieves. We lifted up our heads from degradation. We gathered our strength never to be held down again. We refused to bow down. We made our choice. We staked our land and our lives and we stepped forth from the prisons we opened our arms and our mouths and our hearts in great ecstatic joy and we sang, in spite of all odds in the face of all opposition through much trial and terrible pain and great struggle and deep humiliation our moment has come and we have it after bitter tears after exile and grief after such loss after too much time after so many crushed souls the time is here and now of our desire and our hope and we have come to it we are slaves no more we woke up this morning with our minds stayed on Freedom!
Yes we are awake this day and we know that we are you are y’all are she is he is they are thou art I am Sing, sing out to the great culminating beautiful darkness, sing, sing the lovesong of human life oh peace oh love oh Freedom, We are FREE
Always An Olivia retells Herron’s family story heard from her 103 year old Great Grandmother Olivia when Carolivia was nine years old. This children’s book describes Carolivia’s Jewish and West African (Geechee) ancestors, including the kidnapping of her Sephardic Jewish ancestor Sarah by Barbary pirates.