An Excerpt from Malaika’s Wings (a novel): Claudia Love Mair
An Excerpt from Malaika’s Wings: a Novel
by Claudia Love Mair
From the Griot
In the beginning there was Africa and there was magic. Some of the people could fly. They had a sumpthin’ special 'bout 'em, a gift of wings. Now, you couldn’t always see them wings. Theys special. They only come out for special thangs, but in the beginning, before the strangers come, there was a lot a special thangs, and you could find the winged ones circlin’ the sky at celebrations.
The winged ones was some fine and beautiful peoples. They had a sensitivity about 'em. They could feel thangs with they whole self. That, too, was a gift.
When the strangers come, they brought wit’ 'em all kinds of pains. There was weepin’ pains and killin’ pains, and pains we ain’t never seen. There was pains we ain’t have no way to understand. So much pain, chile, that we forgot 'bout the celebrations, and our wings, and got lost in hurts. Then they took our treasure away. They stole Africa’s chil’rens.
So many done gone, off to strange lands, where they can’t be who they is. The winged ones had it worst of all, 'cause theys the ones could feel the most.'Ventually, they couldn’t fly at all, grounded by the pains. Lawd, it was a terrible thang.
But sometimes, in the strange lands them ships took us, thems fine and lovely winged ones would remember Africa. They would prophesy of theys remembrances. And sometime, if they felt it strong, they could concentrate real hard, look up to the sky, and fly on theys own wings.