Sankofa

A free verse poem I wrote and performed for the reflection presentation event following this year’s Sankofa trip

Seeing the bloodstains on the driveway of Medgar Evers’ home
Sharing an anger, a frustration, a passion for civil rights
Seething with rage at the injustices still surrounding us
Speaking with the youngest Freedom Rider and knowing this isn’t history quite just yet
Shouting “Black Lives Matter” or screaming for justice but
Scared that we’ll be shut down or shot down

Assassinated by our own pride
Angrily arguing about our experiences and our beliefs
Abandoning civility in speaking about civil rights
Agreeing on the mission but

not necessarily the methods.

Kind people welcoming us in an all-black Baptist church we didn’t think we belonged in
Knowing that the other way around wouldn’t look as hospitable
Keeping in mind that the learning
keeps going even though spring break is over

On the steps of Little Rock High School, standing in the Grove at Ole Miss
Owing all the progress that’s already been made to Martin, Malcom, Medgar, Meredith,
and so many more
Overwhelmed with the idea that it’s up to us now; we’re
obligated to play our part

Facing my fears and knowing that this work will never be easy; on
fire knowing that this work frees all of us
Finding freedom in working for freedom

Affected by the past
Anticipating the future but
Assuming responsibility in the present

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