Welcome to the "Blacks of the Chesapeake" Foundation's (BOC) official site. We are dedicated to making your experience with us as pleasant as possible. As a black maritime history organization, we welcome comments and suggestions that foster the development of best practices in education, preservation, environmental advocacy and diversity. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with our site, and please share the news of our existence with those that embrace history and culture. While still being able to find a common ground and connection with others, the Vice-President :Melanie Redding Herrera has written many tributes that document the black maritime culture perspective. The aforementioned includes the waterman perspective, as well as the women's perspective. In tribute to the work that the BOC has done over the years, we invite you to enjoy the poem below.
The Chesapeake Bay Through Ebony Eyes Ebony Eyes have spoken poetry. They have risen and fallen, like the sails of a sailboat, Peering at the wind, looking for a friend...in God's great moat.
Who has seen the eyes of a ship? Surely only they that know the waves Can understand the cravings of a floating journey. A trip to the eyes...so dark, will find the heart and assume the light, For there is no night, in the eyes that truly see the sea.
Ebony Eyes have phrased lyrics, singing sometimes to the silence of strenuous work. Eyes as black as coal, they are the fuel for a water-men's tugboat. Resting peacefully on the water or pulling the weight of another boat redeemed, Look at the eyes behind the machine...
Far more complex than anything man has ever made; Ebony eyes that never die, they never fade... For there is light in them, And it is the light of God.
(This poem was written by current Vice-President Melanie Herrera in 1999, and taken from the book, "The Chesapeake Bay Through Ebony Eyes," by Vincent O. Leggett. Please contact the president : vincent425@comcast for information on the poetry and the book.)