"I Can No Longer Keep Quiet" 2
Sayings of an Angry Black Man


As told to Cliff Williams

America was built on a lie. How can you say that Christopher Columbus discovered America when there were already people here? We were taught that lie, so we didn’t know any better. But when you start reading, you understand it’s a lie.

You got the first thirteen colonies. They set up these systematic things to keep Black folks down. They brought us over here for the free labor. They took our churches and our children away from us. They took our labor away from us. All to keep us down.

The African people in America were smart. They wanted to get away from slavery so some of the old Negro spirituals talk about how to get away. Some of the braiding of women’s hair told how to get away. That’s the part that excites me, because it means these African people were not dumb. My ancestors were not dumb folk. They were just in another country they weren’t used to. But they learned how to get away.

I’m proud to be an African American male in a culture that is hostile toward me. Very hostile. But I don’t care that you are hostile. I don’t care, because now I am book woke to call you down. I’ve done research that will stop you in your tracks and make you go sit down. History speaks for itself. It’s right there.

Maybe White folks need to feel hostility.

We Black folks have come a long way.

© 2023 by AJ


Edited by Cliff Williams from a recorded and transcribed conversation with AJ on October 28, 2022. AJ is an African American man who lives in Chicago. He was in his mid-fifties when we talked. 

For a list of other sayings in this series, with links, go to "I Can No Longer Keep Quiet."

Home page of Cliff Williams