Damini pens poetic tribute to African Nova Scotians

Story by CBC Kids News • 2021-02-09 12:30

“They tried to take us out of history, but we thrived”


Your Story is a collection of your work. A platform for Canadian kids to share their thoughts, perspectives and creative works with the CBC Kids News audience. The work featured on this page is submitted by kids and reviewed by the CBC Kids News team for fairness and accuracy.


SUBMITTED BY: Damini Awoyiga

AGE:  13

CITY: Halifax

INSPIRATION FOR SUBMISSION: I wrote this poem as a tribute to all people of African descent and in honour of African Heritage Month.

Watch Damini perform Together We Stand

Damini performed her poem at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook, N.S., as part of African Heritage Month celebrations. 

Together We Stand

We are the descendants of
Jamaican Maroons, Black Loyalists,
Black refugees, African Immigrants from the diaspora
Overflowing descendants of Oduduwa like my people
With fast and fluent Yoruba
So we never forget the voice of our ancestors
On the shoulders of our ancestors, we stand
Binding together as communities of African descent
This is where we’ve lived, learned and listened
Every tongue counted
Every story sacred
We’ve gone through pain
Yet we speak our own healing
Through the grace of our survival
In this land, African Nova Scotians have fought and continue to fight
Against inequities
We push on joyfully
We sing our songs of victory
In spite of racism
In spite of discrimination
In spite of anti-Black racism
But y'all should know we don't give up easily
They tried to take us out of history, but we thrived
In spite of rejection
We strive for perfection
Cause we believe in resilience
We believe in survival
The ability to rise from the dust
Emerge like the dawn of a new day
Together we stand and we are not afraid
The ancestors in Africville fought for their land
With broken hearts and dirtied hands
From their labour, sweat and blood, we rose
From their agony and resilience, we learned
In their dreams and hopes, we praised
In the African churches, we prayed
From the fight of our ancestors, we learned
In their resilience, we stood
In their yearning for justice, we cried
They tried to silence us
They tried to suppress us
They tried to stop us from achieving
But y'all should know we don't give up easily
We push on joyfully
Undo our chains with the power of our truth-telling
With the power of activism
We sing our songs of
Victory in spite of racism
In spite of discrimination
In spite of anti-Black racism
but y'all should know we don't give up easily
They tried to take us out of History
But we thrived
In spite of rejection
We strive for perfection
Cause we believe in Resurrection
The ability to rise from the Dust
Emerge like the dawn of a new day
From Halifax
To North Preston,
To East Preston
To Hammonds Plains
To Weymothfalls, to Acaciaville,
To Truro
And all the way... to Sydney
Together We stand
We are iron nails,
Nailed in the roots of this country
This land is just as much ours, as it is yours
And together we stand.


What have you been creating during the pandemic?

If you are a Canadian kid and have some artwork or a piece of writing that you would like to share, please have a parent/guardian fill out the submission form here.

Have questions about submissions or anything relating to CBC Kids News? Email us at cbckidsnews@cbc.ca


TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Submitted by Afolake Awoyiga, design by Philip Street/CBC

Get your class on the same page, add this to
Google Classroom