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MLK Day Poem By DaraMonifah Cooper

The Source Arts & Literature section highlights the work of our creative readers. All visual artists and creative writers are encouraged to share new works with us. 

Poetry and creative prose submissions are limited to 1,500 words and should include a brief bio of the writer. Visual art submissions should include at least one high-quality image or video and a very brief bio along with an artist’s statement that speaks to the inspiration of the work. The statement should include the title if there is one, the medium used and what the work means to you.

Please send submissions and questions to visourceart@gmail.com.

Beyond the Dream

Brother Martin said,
“But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

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One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One hundred years later the Negro is still languishing in the comers of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.”

Martin dreamt, but beyond that dream
lives our reality

Freedom isn’t the liberty bell…

Cracked and stifled from ringing (out)
or the echoes we still hear of men being held down on pavement, “I can’t breathe,” they shout

Freedom ain’t children afraid to wear hoodies, buy skittles and drink iced tea
While mothers fear for their daughters
simply sleeping in bed while they can’t see

Can’t see the bullet headed in their direction
Randomly mistaken or not
There are more of them than those who died from a President-incited Capitol insurrection

Freedom is not!
More of our men in prisons
Than in family homes parenting
Blame shifted to “choice” of drugs and guns
None of which we initially brought in

Proper education still ain’t free
We pay for it with the lies youth ingest
Teaching them that their worth is still less
Than those still writing the textbooks and giving yet another biased test

Equal opportunity still ain’t free
We pay for it when for our ideas we get
A pat on the back, and a severance check
While they still stealing the soul from every studio recorded creative set

What can we get for free in this nation?
Redlining, profiling, discrimination, inflation

All this from our sweet land of liberty
Martin dreamt, but beyond that dream
still lives our reality

“But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One hundred years later the Negro is still languishing in the comers of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.”

WAKE UP MARTIN! MALCOLM, SOJOURNER, HARRIET!
When WILL we allow freedom to ring, when WILL we let it ring?
Free at last! Free at last! BY God almighty, WHEN we’ll be free at last?”

~DaraMonifah©
Monday, January 18, 2021, 4:44 a.m., St. Thomas, USVI

 

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