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Sonia Sanchez: 9 Haiku (for Freedom's Sisters)

In honor of Black History Month, here is a poem from Morning Haiku by Sonia Sanchez, celebrating nine black women who changed history. You can enter to win a copy of Morning Haiku in our Black History Month giveaway, and you can read a Q&A with Sonia Sanchez in the Philadelphia Weekly.
Sanchez

9 haiku
(for Freedom's Sisters)

1.
(Kathleen Cleaver)
quicksilver
panther woman speaking
in thunder

2.
(Charlayne Hunter-Gault)
summer silk woman
brushing the cobwebs
off Southern legs

3.
(Shirley Chisholm)
We saw your
woman sound footprinting
congressional hallways

4.
(Betty Shabazz)
your quiet face
arrived at a road
unafraid of ashes . . .

5.
(Fannie Lou Hamer)
feet deep
in cotton you shifted
the country's eyes

6.
(Barbara Jordan)
Texas star
carrying delicate words
around your waist

7.
(Rosa Parks)
baptizer of
morning light walking us away
from reserved spaces

8.
(Myrlie Evers-Williams)
you rescued women and men
from southern subscriptions
of death

9.
(Dr. Dorothy Irene Height)
I
your words
helped us reconnoiter
the wonder of women

II
woman sequestered
in the hurricane
of herstory . . .

Sanchez, Sonia. "9 haiku (for Freedom's Sisters)." Morning Haiku. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. Please do not distribute this work without permission. You may submit requests to reprint the work of Sonia Sanchez from titles published by Beacon Press through its website.

Read more about the women featured in this poem:

Kathleen Cleaver
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Shirley Chisholm
Betty Shabazz
Fannie Lou Hamer
Barbara Jordan
Rosa Parks
Myrlie Evers-Williams
Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

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